Edmonton-area pastor to be released from jail, must pay $1,500 fine

A judge has ruled a jailed Edmonton-area pastor can be released immediately but has to pay a $1,500 fine.

Judge Jeffrey Champion says James Coates, who preaches at GraceLife Church, has to pay the fine within 12 days.

Read more: Group representing Alberta pastor jailed for breaking COVID-19 rules says he’s being released

Coates has been in jail for 35 days for not following a condition of his original bail release that he not hold church services.

He was charged after officials said the church violated public-health measures meant to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Click to play video: 'Group representing Alberta pastor jailed for breaking COVID-19 rules says he’s being released' Group representing Alberta pastor jailed for breaking COVID-19 rules says he’s being released

Group representing Alberta pastor jailed for breaking COVID-19 rules says he’s being released

Champion has agreed to all but one charge against Coates being dropped.

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He is still charged under Alberta’s Public Health Act for holding services that allegedly broke a restriction on the size of gatherings, and a trial is to begin May 3.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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