Credit: Artur Pawlowski
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Canadian pastor ‘won’t comply’ with gag order on COVID speech, is ‘prepared to go to prison’

(by Kennedy Hall | LifeSite News) – Pastor Artur Pawlowski has made it clear that he will not comply with the gag order imposed by a Canadian judge that was part of the final ruling against him and his brother for their outspoken stance against lockdowns and vaccine mandates.

Regarding the desire of the Alberta court that Pawlowski not contradict the government narrative when speaking publicly about COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns, the pastor stated, “This is compelled speech the judge ordered like in China and North Korea … I won’t comply and I’m fully prepared to go to prison.”

Alberta Justice Adam Germain’s 12-page ruling contained instructions for what the court expects Pawlowski to say about COVID-related topics. According to the judge, if he speaks against any of the recommendations laid out by Alberta Health Services, he is supposed to state the following:

“I am also aware that the views I am expressing to you on this occasion may not be views held by the majority of medical experts in Alberta. While I may disagree with them, I am obliged to inform you that the majority of medical experts favour social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding large crowds to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Most medical experts also support participation in a vaccination program unless for a valid religious or medical reason you cannot be vaccinated. Vaccinations have been shown statistically to save lives and to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.”

Pawlowski’s lawyer, Sarah Miller, intends to appeal the “compelled speech and unconstitutional” sentencing in a separate court challenge. An appeal of Germain’s guilty verdict for the Pawlowksis’ contempt of court charges has already been filed.

Canadian lawyer and Rebel Media chief Ezra Levant wrote: “In a bizarre, 40-minute rant, Justice Adam Germain ordered that for the next 18 months, whenever Pastor Artur talks about lockdowns, the pandemic or vaccines — in tweets, in speeches, in media interviews — he must immediately repudiate himself, and give the ‘official’ government view condemning himself.”

Levant added that “he must argue against himself. He must condemn himself. Or go back to jail.” And “it’s compelled speech, like a Maoist “struggle session” in Communist China. You have to say what the government tells you to say.”

The Rebel News chief went on to say that the compelled speech sentencing was “unheard of in Canadian law.”

As part of his sentencing, which did not include jail time, the Pawlowski brothers are restricted in their travel, and are required tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Justice Germain stated in his obscure ruling that he suspects “I suspect that many reasonable individuals will view the sanctions that I impose to be more beneficial in repairing the harm Pastor Pawlowski and his brother did to society.”

The judge believes that Pawlowski harmed society by speaking against what he considers to be government overreach. In addition to compelled speech, Pawlowski was told he must complete community service. Last year, the Polish-Canadian pastor was fined feeding the homeless while the province was under a stay-at-home order.

Justice Germain stated four times in his ruling that he did not send the pastor back to prison because he did not want to make him a “martyr” for his cause and that he didn’t want to “add a little more gasoline to the anti-mask, anti-vaccination fire.”

In a twist of fate, Pawlowski is now positioned to be a martyr for the cause of free speech in Canada as the strong-willed pastor is not backing down. It remains to be seen what will happen to him, but any public speaking or traveling outside the province could mean that he ends up back in prison.

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