The Church of God (Restoration) Aylmer, pastors Henry Hildebrandt and Peter Wall, and Herbert Hildebrandt were fined a combined $90,500 on Friday morning, June 18 for what was their third contempt hearing in Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Justice Bruce Thomas said the fines were for “past actions” and reflected that the church and its leaders were “clearly in defiance” of COVID-19 gathering restrictions on May 23, 30 and June 6, for which the court in February had issued a restraining order against the church. Gathering restrictions have since loosened to allow outdoor services where those attending observe safe distancing measures.
The church, at the north end of Aylmer, has been holding outdoor services on Sundays attended by hundreds each week since Justice Thomas ordered the church doors locked on May 14 for his initial finding of contempt.
May and June gatherings were held while outdoor attendance was still limited to 10. The church and pastors Hildebrandt and Wall were already facing $183,000 in fines. The $3,000 fine for Herbert Hildebrandt was his first for contempt, for participating in a service on May 23. Fines were payable “forthwith”.
More in the June 23 Aylmer Express.