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Trinity Bible Chapel found in contempt of court for second time, ordered to pay $85K in fines

The church must also show proof of a COVID-19 safety plan before locks are removed from its doors
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Trinity Bible Chapel/GoogleMaps

More fines have been handed down to Trinity Bible Chapel and its elders.

On Tuesday afternoon, Justice John Krakchenko ordered the Woolwich church and its leaders to pay $85,000 in fines after finding the church in contempt of court for the second time.

Here's how it breaks down: the church was issued a $35,000 fine, both pastors Jacob Reaume and Will Schuurman were fined $10,000 each, and Dean Wanders, Randy Frey, Harvey Frey, and Daniel Gordon were each fined $7,500.

In February, Trinity Bible Chapel was issued fines worth $38,000, and court fees of $45,000, which were all paid in full. 

"Keep in mind that we owed $45,000 just for legal fees for the January 24 conviction," said Pastor Jacob Reaume in a blog post Tuesday. "For contempt proceedings, it’s unlikely that we can appeal.  So we’ll have to pay up.  When this is all added up, we’re gonna owe a lot of money.  But Jesus is worth it."

In an email sent to 570 NEWS, Justice Krawchenko found the church used "methods to block surveillance," however, the defense team mentioned they do not believe he stated the purpose was to conceal the number of people going in. 

All fines issued are in connection with violating COVID-19 restrictions set out in the Reopening Ontario Act, and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

The locks on the church will be removed once the church showcases it will comply with Step 3 regulations, posts a safety plan, and provides evidence of it to the Attorney General's office.

"Although we are disappointed with the heavy sanctions ordered against Trinity Bible Chapel for the offence of holding a religious gathering, we are pleased with Justice Krawchenko's order that the government's locks must be immediately removed from the church doors upon the church posting a safety plan," said Lisa Bildy with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

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