$14K COVID-19 fine dropped against Prince Albert, Sask., gospel outreach centre

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The government says public health authorities have been able to engage with the gospel outreach centre to ensure its practices comply with public health orders. (Greg Dionne - image credit)
The government says public health authorities have been able to engage with the gospel outreach centre to ensure its practices comply with public health orders. (Greg Dionne - image credit)

The Saskatchewan Crown has dropped a $14,000 fine imposed on the Prince Albert Full Gospel Outreach Centre for allegedly violating COVID-19 public health orders last October.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says a series of revival meetings led to 175 cases of COVID-19 in at least 17 communities across the province.

The Ministry of Justice says prosecutions only proceed when there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction and when it is in the public's interest to continue.

Since the fall, the government says public health authorities have been able to engage with the gospel outreach centre to ensure its practices comply with public health orders.

The outbreak stemmed from meetings held at Full Gospel Outreach Centre from Sept. 14 to Oct. 4, 2020. An evangelist who participated in meetings, Ian Lavellee, said attendees sang without wearing masks — in contravention of Saskatchewan's places of worship guidelines.

Supporters subsequently rallied to raise money for the outreach centre to cover the cost of the fines.

CBC reached out to the Pastor Vern Temple but he was unavailable to comment.

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