A Calgary-based street pastor and his brother – both known for opposing and masking pandemics – were released on bail after their arrest after protesting outside the health minister’s home, their attorney confirmed on Sunday.
According to the Calgary Police, there was a protest rally in northwest Calgary on Saturday afternoon, attended by about 50 people and two were arrested.
Defense attorney Chad Haggerty says the two arrested were Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski.
Haggerty confirmed the two were arrested after gathering outside Health Secretary Jason Copping’s home. A video of the protest posted on an anti-vaccine and anti-mask Facebook account showed protesters in the neighborhood holding signs and singing while a helicopter flies overhead.
Haggerty said the two Pavlovskis left the gathering and returned home when police stopped them on the Crowchild Trail south of downtown.
He said they were charged with violating a court order that prevented them from attending illegal public gatherings.
They were released by mutual agreement on the condition that they had no contact with Copping and did not go to his place of residence.
Both brothers “willingly agreed to be bound by these terms,” Haggerty said.
Alberta’s Prime Minister Jason Kenney issued a statement on Sunday in response to the incident.
“All Albertans have the right to peacefully protest. That right does not extend to trespassing and molesting officials’ families,” Kenney said in a statement emailed.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time marginal anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists have attempted to intimidate government officials in this way. I am sure the vast majority of Albertans oppose this type of extremism.”
In October 2021, the Court of Queen’s Bench judge Adam Germain fined the brothers and placed them on probation.
As part of their probation, Germain had decided at the time that if the pandemic-denying anti-mask leaders continue to preach to their followers, then they must also present the perspective of medical experts.