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Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Open Letter to Premier Kenney and UCP Caucus

June 28, 2021


Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

Government is not the grantor of rights. Rather, government is the protector of rights.

I presume by now that you have received numerous emails, calls and communications re: U.S. Senator Josh Hawley’s letter to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Senator Hawley stated “Frankly, I would expect this sort of religious crackdown in Communist China, not in a prominent Western nation like Canada. Canadian authorities’ arrest of faith leaders and seizure of church property, among other enforcement actions, appear to constitute systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

Many people will say that these faith leaders broke public health orders and therefore the Alberta government’s response was justified. If the health orders were applied equally to all gatherings throughout the past 16 months, then I would agree. Unfortunately, we know that some gatherings have been allowed, even encouraged, by politicians not only in Alberta but across North America during this same period of time. As such, I agree with Senator Hawley’s assessment.

Alberta’s 2014 Pandemic Influenza Plan stated the following four goals (which should still apply now):

  1. Controlling the spread by providing access to appropriate prevention measures, care and treatment.

  2. Mitigating societal disruption in Alberta through ensuring the continuity and recovery of critical services.

  3. Minimizing adverse economic impact.

  4. Supporting an efficient and effective use of resources during the response and recovery.

How does arresting faith leaders, seizure of church property and other enforcement actions help the Alberta government meet these pandemic planning goals? When will Pastor Stephens be released?


Jared Pilon

Libertarian Party Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB


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