Calgary

Calgary police fine street preacher for violating COVID-19 health orders

Calgary police have shared details about two people fined under the Public Health Act during the pandemic.

Police also fined a 38-year-old woman for failing to self-isolate

Artur Pawlowski, who runs a religious organization called Street Church, was fined $1,200 on April 3 for allegedly holding a public gathering of more than 15 people at Olympic Plaza. (Artur Pawlowski/Facebook)

Calgary police announced fines for two people who allegedly failed to comply with COVID-19 health orders.

Preacher Artur Pawlowski, who leads a street church on municipal property in downtown Calgary, was fined $1,200 for allegedly holding a gathering of more than 15 people at Olympic Plaza.

"[Pawlowski] had been warned prior to, and a summons was given to him for a gathering he was holding last week," Supt. Steve Barlow told reporters Wednesday.

Pawlowski denied that his gathering was run contrary to health standards, insisting the church had taken distancing seriously.

"If that's what they said, they were lying. I don't listen to propaganda. I don't listen to that garbage," he said.

During Wednesday's press conference, Barlow said Pawlowski is known to police. 

Pawlowski has been issued tickets previously, and has drawn controversy for some past comments. He's due to appear in court for the new ticket on June 12.

Police also issued a $1,200 ticket to a 38-year-old woman for refusing to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.

"That was strictly on patrol. Our officers were on patrol last week, found this person. They were wanted for outstanding warrants as well," Barlow said. "They were displaying symptoms, and that's why the summons was issued to this person."

The woman is scheduled to appear in court on June 11.

In late March, Alberta announced new enforcement powers for alleged infractions against public health orders.

Those who don't self-isolate if directed or join gatherings of more than 15 people can expect fines of as much as $1,000 for a first offence or up to $100,000 for more serious offences.