Christian Pastor Artur Pawlowski gets a criminal record and time served for speech to protestors.
LETHBRIDGE: Pastor Artur Pawlowski was sentenced today in a Lethbridge Court to 60 days imprisonment after Justice Krinkle of the Alberta Court of Justice found him guilty earlier this year of counselling mischief and breaching a release condition to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. Despite the sentence, Pawlowski left the court a free man as he already served 78 days in pre-trial custody.
The convictions relate to a 17-minute speech Pawlowski made on February 3, 2022, at the Smuggler’s Saloon in Coutts, Alberta, during the Freedom Convoy protests. The speech was made on the fifth day of the protests when the blockade was already well underway.
Pawlowski had no criminal record prior to this conviction.
Justice Krinkle stated in his trial decision earlier this year that the “content,” “context,” and “tone” of the speech convinced him beyond a reasonable doubt that Pawlowski deliberately incited protestors to commit mischief by continuing their blockade at Coutts.
No witnesses were called at the trial. The judge relied upon an agreed statement of facts, as well as a video and transcript of the speech.
In reaching his conclusion about Pawlowski’s guilt, Krinkle noted that Pawlowski’s speech focused on Poland’s solidarity movement. Just as the solidarity movement attempted to paralyze Poland’s communist regime to achieve its goals, so too was Pawlowski encouraging protestors to paralyze the highways and borders as an effective means of achieving their goals.
In today’s sentencing, the judge noted that Pawlowski must be deterred from his unlawful activity.
According to Ezra Levant of Rebel News, who lived-posted the sentencing on X, the crown attorney asked for 8-10 months in jail for Pawlowski. Defence counsel asked for 7 plus one day, with time served.
Pawlowski is represented by Sarah Miller of JSS Barristers, who has already filed a notice to appeal the findings of guilt. Pawlowski and his legal team, who are funded by TDF, will now have to decide whether to also appeal the sentence.
Pastor Pawlowski was previously exonerated at the Court of Appeal, which set aside findings of contempt made against him. But this next appeal, in which Pawlowski attempts to clear his name, could be his biggest legal battle yet.
You can help Pastor Pawlowski by making a tax-deductible donation to support TDF.
About The Democracy Fund:
Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.