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pastor artur pawlowski at the coutts blockade inciting riots with people holding tiki torches behind him
Colby Cosh | Salt Wire

Liar Liar, Pastor Fired

Leaked call puts Premier Danielle Smith and separatist street pastor Artur Pawlowski on the hot seat

Premier Danielle Smith and separatist street pastor Artur Pawlowski are on the hot seat.

Premier Danielle Smith’s pants are on fire after a leaked call with pastor Artur Pawlowski surfaced earlier this month. In case you haven’t heard the recording, Pawlowski is a Polish-Canadian Protestant street pastor on trial for mischief for inciting the protesters involved in the Coutts border dispute in February 2022. He is the former leader of the Alberta Independence Party (AIP), a political party that seeks to separate Alberta from Canada and make it an independent nation.

Pawlowski made the news again because his party fired him on March 28, 2023. His former party said, “Art Pawlowski has not reflected this vision in a way that properly aligns with what the party and our platform need to convey and communicate to Albertans,” in a Tweet.

According to Pawlowski, the party demanded he stop talking about the grooming of children, abortion, drag queen shows, and corruption in the government.

While Pawloski’s ouster has made the recent news, he also made headlines last year for inciting protestors at the Coutts blockade.

On February 3, 2022, protestors made a deal to leave the border and head to Edmonton. But Pawlowski had different ideas. Less than two hours after the deal was struck, the pastor gave a speech encouraging protestors to stay. In a video of the speech, Pawlowski tells protestors that they must be willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom.

“I am proud that I stood with the people that simply stood for their God and state,” commented Pawlowski.

Apparently, after his passionate speech, Pawlowski got in his BMW and drove to Calgary. So much for standing with the people, right?

A Phone Call With Smith

a close up photo of danielle smith speaking into a microphone with a blurred background
Kieran Leavitt | Toronto Star

Pawlowski stood trial in February on charges of breaching a release order, mischief over $5,000 and a charge under the Alberta Critical Infrastructure Defence Act of willfully damaging or destroying essential infrastructure. Pawlowski has been trying to pull strings to make the charges go away.

A recording surfaced in March of a phone call between Premier Smith and Pawlowski. It records Smith saying she frequently spoke with Alberta justice officials about pandemic-related prosecutions.

“I assure you that I have asked them that, almost weekly, ever since I got started here,” said Smith during the phone call.

This includes Pawlowski’s case, but Smith clarified that she could not grant him amnesty.

During her UCP leadership campaign, Smith promised to grant amnesty to those facing charges for people violating pandemic laws. Apparently, she was unaware that only the Governor-General could extinguish charges in Canada. In other words, one of Smith’s main campaign promises was flat-out impossible.

At the time, Smith says she thought premiers had the same power as in the United States. Since then, Smith has clarified that she is no longer pursuing amnesty for pandemic rule violators.

The question of politicians interfering with prosecutions is a hot topic in Canada. Remember the SLC Lavalin controversy in 2018, where Prime Minister Trudeau’s inner circle tried to pressure Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to go easy on the multinational?

In Canada, politicians should never interfere with court prosecutions. It’s just not done.

Smith says her use of the term ‘prosecutors’ was ‘imprecise.’ Imprecise is politician-speak for “Not True.” And we all learned another word for “not true” when we were kids.

During her phone call with Pawlowski, Smith suggests she could “ask prosecutors (if) there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction, and is it in the public interest?”

Now, Smith claims she only spoke with Deputy Minister of Justice Frank Bosscha and Justice Minister Tyler Shandro. Her Justice Department later confirmed this.

But here’s the thing, you can’t have both “asked prosecutors almost weekly” and only talked to the Deputy Minister and Minster. One of those statements is “not true.”

If it was only the Pawloski recording, we might give Premier Smith the benefit of the doubt and chalk it to a politician using “imprecise” language to puff herself up and please a constituent.

But this isn’t the first time Smith has allegedly claimed to have talked to prosecutors.

In late December last year, Smith told Rebel News she was meeting with prosecutors to discuss pandemic-related legal cases.

“I put it to the prosecutors, and I’ve asked them to do a review of the cases with those two things in mind,” Smith said in an interview with Rebel News.

Despite her denials, Smith’s phone call with Pawlowski has opened a can of worms ahead of a May election. It sure looks like she pulled a Trudeau, and like him, she has failed to own up to it and apologize. This is abnormal because Smith, like Trudeau, seems to apologize for something every other week.

When you cut through all the spin, the facts are pretty clear. Smith has been recorded twice claiming to have spoken with prosecutors, but now she denies it. One thing is crystal clear. One, or the other statement, is untrue.

Premier Smith’s bum must be getting hot. Not only is she on the hot seat from the media, but as we learned as kids, her pants should be on fire.

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