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Canada Church near Waterloo, Ont., opens for Sunday service in defiance of court order

00:52  25 january  2021
00:52  25 january  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

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a house with trees in the background with Robert Frost Farm in the background: Trinity Bible Chapel north of Waterloo, Ont., held in-person services on Sunday. The move came after the Attorney General obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice to require the church to follow the rules under the Reopening Ontario Act. © Trinity Bible Chapel Website Trinity Bible Chapel north of Waterloo, Ont., held in-person services on Sunday. The move came after the Attorney General obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice to require the church to follow the rules under the Reopening Ontario Act.

A church north of Waterloo, Ont., opened for Sunday service in defiance of a Superior Court of Justice order.

The order, obtained by the Attorney General, tells Trinity Bible Chapel to follow the requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act. If they opened for in-person services, church officials could be held in contempt of court.

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After filing the suit, the Beloved Church on Thursday announced the Sunday service in a Facebook post. Police did not break up the service and no action has been taken against the church for their defiance of the stay-at-home order at the time of publication.

The Provincial Offences Court Office is open from 9:00am - 1:00pm for front counter service Monday to Friday (Excluding Statutory Holidays). By mail: Send a cheque, money order or credit card details (Visa or Mastercard) to: The Region of Waterloo 77 Queen St. N., Kitchener, ON N2H 2H1.

A statement by senior pastor Jacob Reaume was posted to the church's website on Friday informing people the church would be open for in-person services on Sunday. The statement argued the church is providing an essential service to its members and community.

Under the Reopening Ontario Act, just 10 people are permitted inside a building for a religious ceremony or service.

Church officials were issued tickets on two separate occasions for in-person services held Dec. 27 and Jan. 3 for exceeding gathering limits. These tickets were issued after the province implemented a provincewide lockdown on Dec. 26.


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Police were forced to block the entrance of a church after a pastor vowed to hold Sunday service in defiance of lockdown rules because he " serves a greater good". Lead pastor Regan King, 28, had vowed to hold a full indoor church service at The Angel in north London during an interview with BBC

The church held a drive-in service on Jan. 10, which is permitted under provincial rules.

On Sunday, independent MPP Randy Hillier, who has likened COVID-19 to a bad flu in the past, tweeted he was at the church for one of two services.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service tweeted that officers are working with regional bylaw and public health officials "to ensure appropriate action is taken."

"We ask for your patience, as these are complex issues that require proper engagement of the judicial process. We urge members of the public to abide by public health guidelines and the current Stay-At-Home order," the service tweeted.

The Region of Waterloo said in a statement on Sunday that bylaw officers were "on location to observe activities and we continue to work closely with and support our provincial enforcement partners."

There was no mention from the region on whether the church will be issued any additional tickets, although the region noted there is a "minimum fine of $10,000 and a maximum fine of $100,000 (individual) / $10 million (corporation) upon a conviction for hosting or organizing an in person gathering that exceeds the 10-person limit and prescribes a maximum fine of $100,000 if convicted for attending such a gathering."

The region did "thank the many places of worship that continue to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act. These actions help protect our community's health."

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