DOTTY minister Catherine Flamond, of the Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International, was none to pleased when she received three traffic tickets last year for driving without a licence plate or insurance, and failing to produce a driver’s licence.
What she calls her “ecclesiastical pursuit chariot” – a 1994 Mercury Sable – was ticketed in February, 2011, but Flamond, in a June 13 letter to Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht, claimed she had her own plate — made of paper and bearing the biblical verse Rom. 11:29:
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
She then mounted a constitutional challenge against the tickets, arguing in a written Charter notice that the provincial civil laws do not apply to her because she is a Christian minister bound only by God, the Queen of England and the Constitution Act of 1982.
But this week Provincial Court Judge John Henderson tossed out her challenge, ruling that:
The Alberta Traffic Safety Act applies to “every single person” who operates a motor vehicle in the province.
Henderson also dismissed several other motions seeking to have the tickets quashed, including ones alleging wrongful prosecution and bias by the Crown and judge, who was also accused of coming close to treason.
The matter was then adjourned for trial on October 23.
In her Charter notice, Flamond included several letters she had written to people in authority.
She also called the car “church property” and accused the officer of stealing it and taking it to the “city pound.”
The Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International is a Christian denomination that does not believe in the authority of the Canadian government and wishes to use the King James Bible as the rule of law.
Flamond is by to means the only unhinged member of the church. According to this report, in 2006 one of the congregation – Karen Ponto – had to be dragged kicking and screaming from Saskatoon provincial courtroom. She yelled at the judge that her arrest for contempt of court was a violation of her rights as a Christian.
Hat tip: Dog Gone