AHS statement on Fairview Baptist Church closure

June 5, 2021

CALGARY - Today, June 5, 2021, Alberta Health Services (AHS) physically closed Fairview Baptist Church and has prevented access to the building.

This action was necessary as the Lead Pastor of the church has continued to disregard public health measures required by law under Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) for the protection of the public.

This Closure Order will remain in place until the Pastor can demonstrate the ability to comply with these restrictions.

Since December 2020, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with the Lead Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church to address ongoing public health concerns surrounding worship services during the pandemic.

Services that exceed allowed capacities have taken place at the Church each Sunday, with minimal to no masking or physical distancing occurring. AHS Environmental Public Health (EPH) has received 57 public complaints regarding Fairview Baptist Church.

These actions are in contravention of current Orders of the CMOH, an Executive Officers Work Order issued on January 4, 2021 and an Executive Officers Closure Order issued on May 17, 2021.

AHS has been working closely with Calgary Police Service (CPS) on this issue, however, none of the enforcement actions taken by either AHS or CPS to date have succeeded in gaining compliance.

Tickets, fines and criminal charges are under the jurisdiction of local law enforcement; AHS is unable to issue fines or tickets.

AHS recognizes that the vast majority of places of worship are compliant with required public health measures for the protection of not only those who attend services, but for the protection of their families, friends and communities.