Canada has a new hero.
He's Artur Pawlowski, the pastor of Calgary's Street Church.
On Easter weekend a band of six government thugs showed up at his church to stop the religious service declaring they were there to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
For Pastor Pawlowski, it was too much. Sacriligious government intrusion into a church on the holiest days of the Christianity was a red line not to be crossed.
Like an exorcist driving out demons, he confronted the menacing gang of officials.
"GESTAPO IS NOT ALLOWED HERE!"
"NAZIS ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!"
"DO NOT COME BACK WITHOUT A WARRANT!"
At first, the authorities thought they could intimidate Pastor Pawlowski by standing their ground. But with parishioners rushing to his defence by filming the confrontation with a sea of cell phones, they conceded defeat, but not before showing their contempt by sauntering like a street gang from the church to their fleet of cars.
A courageous man of God had faced down the Covid gestapo. Pawlowski said afterward he was raising the alarm for all Canadians.
His accent tells you he wasn't born in Canada. He's Polish, coming from a country that lived under dictatorship for 50 years, first under the boot of German Nazis, and then Communist Russia. Poles are more sensitive than anyone to the first whiff of totalitarianism in government.
Pawlowski called on Canadians to wake up to the steady, insidious erosion of democracy and civil rights under the guise of government decrees to fight Covid.
That message couldn't be heard louder anywhere in the country than right here in Manitoba.
You are about to discover how deeply Manitoba has fallen into authoritarian one-man rule without a peep of protest from the so-called civil libertarians in the city of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister invoked the Emergency Measures Act on March 20, 2020. He uttered all the sentiments---at first.
"Understand that this is a temporary measure, and we do not enter into this lightly." he said.
The Winnipeg Free Press reported that Pallister said that "the emergency declaration is a necessary step, and that it was issued with full awareness of its potential infringement on "individual rights and freedoms."
But even then he couldn't hide his real inclinations.
Among the restrictions announced under the declaration was a limit of 50 people in public places. It didn't apply to workplaces.
But Pallister publicly called for a boycott of businesses that didn't impose a similar limit "voluntarily".
""I'd like you to go on the internet and tell everybody not to shop there. Don't go there, don't honour that kind of behaviour," he said.
Gee, a government leader calling for a boycott of legal businesses. Hmm. Has there ever been a historical precedent for a government leader calling for a boycott of businesses he doesn't like? Hmmm.
The boycott call went unnoticed. Nobody raised an objection in the press, the universities, the legal community, or, uh. "social activists."
The restrictions got more and more intrusive over the coming months, with the government controlling who you could see, where you could shop, what you could buy. There was some grumbling, but people went along with the government orders.
But Pallister wanted to make it clear that no objection to his diktats would be tolerated. At the beginning of November, not even 8 months after imposing the Emergency Measures Act, Pallister announced how he intended to crush his opponents.
He revealed he had deputized 3300 government employees---including conservation officers, bylaw officers, bus inspectors---to enforce shutdown rules. In addition he had hired a private police force of 90 people to supplement that army of inspectors.
With sexual glee in his eyes, Pallister added that he had initiated a snitch line whereby people could report, confidentially, their neighbours if they thought they were breaking the shutdown rules. This went far beyond a call for a boycott.
Three weeks later, Pallister made it clearer for anyone doubting where he was going. Now is not the time for anyone to talk about "individual rights" he declared.
But pockets of disagreement over the interdiction of social activity started showing up. A hot spot was Springs Church in Springfield. Yes, a church, historically the first target of all despots.
Springs Church was holding drive-in services. The Covid gestapo was ticketing the church and pastor. The Church prepared to go to court to fight the ban on drive-in services.
On Dec. 5, 2020 Springs Church was in court asking for an injunction. In an affidavit the church pastor stated he was told the church could be fined one million dollars if it continued to hold drive-in services and parishioners faced fines of one hundred thousand dollars each.
Government Lawyer Denise Guenette argued in court, as reported by CTV News, that the value of religious services to people in cars 'does not outweigh the life and death risk if even one person gets sick.'
Chief Justice of the Court Queen's Bench Glen Joyal denied the injunction.
But what he didn't know was this:
The very day the government was telling him that the risk to health was so great that people should not be allowed to listen to a church service in their cars, Brian Pallister was revising the health order so that drive-in church services had miraculously been declared safe and within 48 hours of Joyal's decision, would be legal.
In short, Pallister made a political decision, not one based on sciiiiience.
He was never asked by Joyal to provide the science behind the drive-in ban. Nobody has ever asked him to provide the science behind any of the "health orders".
It was after Pastor Pawlowski's warning that we decided to read the Emergency Measures Act to see what powers Brian Pallister actually had. What we discovered was frightening.
The Act was intended to allow a government to respond to natural disasters like floods and forest fires. It was supposed to be used for a limited time, 30 days with extensions of 30 days if necessary. But Pallister has simply rolled over that time limit to take the powers the Act grants for himself for an unlimited period.
He's now extended the 30 days in the law to almost 400 days with no end in sight.
The Act allows designated people to enter any business OR HOME without a warrant.
- To force anyone in the place to show indentification.
- To DETAIN anyone the authorities want to.
- To use the FORCE they deem necessary to REMOVE the person to an undesignated SAFE PLACE.
So, Manitoba has a Premier who has declared civil rights are not important unless he says so, who has created his own army of inspectors, including hiring his own police force, which can go into any home without a warrant, remove anyone by force and take them to an unidentified "safe place."
A Premier who is threatening to shut down a church by fining it out of existence, who misled a court by arguing a threat to public safety which the Premier knew the very minute the argument was being made was not true. A Premier who is illegally rolling over a 30-day time limit in a law without any checks and balances to give himself unrestricted power, indefinitely.
We can only quote our hero Pastor Artur Pawlowski: