Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski received a 60-day jail sentence from the Alberta Court of Justice after being found guilty earlier this year of counselling mischief. Despite the sentence, the pastor was released due to having served 78 days in pre-trial custody.

The sentence related to Mr. Pawlowski’s 17-minute speech delivered on Feb. 3, 2022, in Coutts, Alta., during the Freedom Convoy protests. This speech occurred on the fifth day of the protests when a border blockade had already been established.

Crown prosecutors argued that Mr. Pawlowski’s address to truckers had persuaded them to extend their presence at the Canada-U.S. border crossing for an additional two weeks. The blockade in Coutts was part of a nationwide movement initiated in January 2022 to protest the government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truck drivers and other pandemic restrictions.

The crown attorney sought an 8- to 10-month jail term, while his defence requested a sentence of seven days plus one, taking into account time served, according to The Democracy Fund (TDF), an organization that offered financial assistance to the pastor’s legal team.

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