Open Letter to RCMP Inspector re: Imprisonment of Pastor James Coates

The following text is a direct copy of an original open letter to Inspector Mike Lokken (pictured at right) from Peter Downing (pictured at left), retired RCMP constable, WEXIT co-founder, and Public Safety Critic for the Independence Party of Alberta. Peter delivers a poignant critique of actions that led to the unlawful arrest of Pastor James Coates (pictured at center.)
Source Credit:
 Inspector Mike Lokken
Detachment Commander
Parkland RCMP Detachment
91 Campsite Road
Spruce Grove AB T7X 3Z1
(825) 220-2000


Dear Inspector Lokken,


My name is Peter Downing.  I am a former RCMP Constable, having served in Alberta from 2006-2015.   I am the Co-founder of the Wexit Alberta Separatist Movement and I am currently serving as the Public Safety Critic for The Independence Party of Alberta (TIP).


Like many Albertans, I was shocked and appalled by the recent arrest and subsequent incarceration of Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church by Parkland County RCMP.  While ostensibly your police service arrested him under the provisions of the Alberta Public Health Act, you must know that many Albertans have serious doubts about the legitimacy of the Kenney government’s COVID19 pandemic narrative.  Notable concerns include:

  • no known sample of the virus has been isolated from a live symptomatic patient;
  • there have been no recorded cases of the common flu this season;
  • the average age of reported death from COVID19 in Alberta matches the average Canadian life expectancy (82 years);
  • the relative emptiness of Alberta hospitals, contrasted with official government narrative;
  • the high degree of false positives recorded from COVID19 PCR tests.

Furthermore, as high-profile members of Alberta’s LGBTQ community, you and Premier Kenney must be alive to your own community’s history of legal restrictions on the freedom of assembly, stemming back to the famed New York Stonewall Riots of 1969.  Despite the previous legal prohibitions on freedom of assembly for the LGBTQ community, I am sure that you both agree that civil disobedience is sometimes necessary when facing unjust laws.


So why is it that you would not extend the same consideration to Pastor James Coates and other members of the Christian Faith who enjoy protected constitutional status with regards to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Assembly?  Given that the current restrictive measures imposed by AHS’s Dr. Deena Hinshaw are both dubious and constitutionally illegal, why as a sworn law enforcement professional, trained thoroughly in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, would you arrest and imprison a husband, father, and community pillar for enjoying his constitutionally protected rights while serving his community?


When I was a front-line constable, serving in various Alberta communities (including Parkland County), one of the biggest frustrations of law enforcement personnel was the routine dismissal by the courts of serious criminal offences by an out-of-touch liberal judiciary, under the auspices of upholding the Charter Rights of the Accused (no matter how flimsy a justification).  As you fully well know, the legal principle behind this is to not “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.


Sir, I can confidently say that in this case, not only has the administration of justice been brought into disrepute, but your command in this matter has also been brought into disrepute.  Despite the various competing demands and political pressures of law enforcement, you are always expected to uphold individual charter rights and freedoms without “fear, favour, or affection”.  The optics in this case are atrocious.


On behalf of many like-minded Albertans, I am now asking you to request Alberta Crown Counsel to withdraw all charges against Pastor James Coates.  Like the Prophet Daniel, he is innocent.  Not only was his arrest and incarceration grossly unconstitutional (and therefore illegal), but prosecuting this man is clearly not in the public interest, and will only serve to erode public trust in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


In closing Sir, I wish you nothing but the best.  I pray for the Lord Jesus Christ’s blessing of protection for yourself and for all the sworn law enforcement personnel under your command.  I also pray for the swift release of Pastor James Coates, that he be promptly returned to his family, that he be able to continue his pastoral ministry unmolested by the Parkland County RCMP.



Best Regards,


Peter Downing, Public Safety Critic

The Independence Party of Alberta

RCMP 53188 (ret)