A controversial Winnipeg church has been issued a summons to appear in court next month.
Springs Church — which became the subject of public outrage after pictures surfaced online last month, apparently depicting an in-person, mask-free graduation ceremony — has been charged with two counts of failing to abide by public health orders.
The specific charges are for conducting an indoor gathering on private property and failing to ensure that every person who is not wearing a mask while in the indoor public place is given a reminder to do so as soon as practicable.
Both violations are contrary to the province’s COVID-19 Prevention Orders.
06-Jul-2021 08:30 AM
In a press release after the photos went viral, Spring Church senior pastor Leon Fontaine acknowledged the event took place, but said the ceremony — which happened on the last day of classes — involved 18 students from a single cohort in a closed studio.
Fontaine also claimed the students were spaced out during the event, which was broadcast on a TV screen to people in parked vehicles.
This isn’t the church’s first brush with the province when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.
Springs lost a court battle in December 2020 to host its drive-in services, which had been banned due to concerns of spreading COVID-19.