Judge hands out fines, not jail, for COVID rule-breakers
CANADA & WORLD
CALGARY — A Calgary judge says he is sparing a pastor, his brother and a café owner jail time for violating COVID-19 rules because he doesn’t want the men to cash in on notoriety with more time behind bars. Justice Adam Germain ruled Wednesday that Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski must pay stiff fines and Alberta Health Services costs because they would like nothing better than to become martyrs in jail. AHS had recommended 21 days’ jail for the pastor and 10 days for his brother. But Germain opted for a $23,000 fine for Artur Pawlowski and $10,000 for Dawid Pawlowski. The brothers will also have to pay $15,733 in costs, and the pastor an additional $4,758. Artur Pawlowski must also serve 18 months’ probation and Dawid Pawlowski 10 months’ probation, which prevents them from leaving Alberta. Christopher Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in the hamlet of Mirror, northeast of Red Deer, was also looking at a recommended 21 days in jail. He must instead pay $20,000 in fines and costs of nearly $11,000 and serve 18 months’ probation. The three were convicted in June of contempt. The Pawlowski brothers had been holding church services that flouted rules on masking and physical distancing. Scott was arrested at the end of an anti-lockdown rally at his café, which had earlier been closed by health officials. Germain ordered the men to begin making payments Nov. 1.