Written by By Lauren Ngo, CNN
CNN has obtained exclusive documents concerning a Christian pastor who was served with an order requiring him to “never publicly utter anything that directly or indirectly attacks the AAM (Associated American Missionaries)” or the Trudeau government.
CNN does not condone the government-appointed order, which demanded that Scott Smith speak only about six specific legislative matters, and never engage in any public political discussions or engage in any inappropriate displays of faith.
But on Thursday, the Federal Court of Canada affirmed the order to the Health Canada agency that issued it, and that the request to stay the ruling would be heard in federal court any time that Smith spoke publicly on the topic.
Expats meet to commemorate landmark COVID-19 case
The government-appointed panel of health officials revoked Smith’s evangelical credentials due to his online broadcasts urging Canadians to end their lifestyle of cannabis consumption and raise their level of Bible study.
Last year, a Canadian judge ordered the government to reinstate Smith’s conservative credentials, granting him religious freedom and religious freedom of conscience, and barring the AAM from removing his degree.
Government lawyers who argued for Smith’s revoked credentials to be reinstated told CNN they were “confident” the judge would have granted them.
Smith, who is an associate pastor in Calgary, was barred from participating in the International Day of Prayer event at the Canadian Parliament in December 2017.
“For COVID-19 to be treated differently from similar missionaries to this country, for them to be denied the same access, to the same honor because of one thing — that is the reason that I am dedicating my life to defend this fundamental right,” Smith said at the time.