COVID-19: Church of God in Aylmer, Ont. facing more charges for disobeying COVID-19 restrictions

Located southeast of London, Ont., Church of God has been the site of numerous charges related to COVID-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic. via The Church of God at Aylmer/Facebook

Following a Sunday service that saw over 300 people in attendance, the Church of God and its organizers are facing multiple charges under the Reopening Ontario Act.

The corporation that owns the church, a 37-year-old man and a 57-year-old man are facing charges for failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions under the act.

“Like the previous Sunday, people were gathered in large numbers, not socially distancing, or wearing any kind of mask,” said Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat.

Horvat said this past Sunday’s incident and others are being added to information collected for an upcoming hearing.

“We are going to be there monitoring every Sunday, obviously we are in liaison with the attorney general’s office,” said Horvat.

Read more: COVID-19 — Church of God in Aylmer, Ont. to be locked, pastor and church fined

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A judge recently ordered the church’s doors temporarily locked for disobeying COVID-19 restrictions.

The church, its pastor and assistant pastor face $48,000 in fines and $69,000 in legal costs.

In addition to the churchgoers, Horvat said there have also been several counter-protesters along the highway protesting what the church is doing.

He said those protesting the church services have done so from their vehicles and wearing masks, so they have not given police any cause for concern.

“We are happy with local citizens not engaging with those at the service and so far it’s been peaceful and that is our goal to ensure community safety.”

Police say they will add the evidence gathered at the church service to the information for a contempt hearing on May 31.

—With files from Jacquelyn LeBel

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