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Artur Pawlowski out as leader of the Alberta Independence Party

Artur, left, and Dawid Pawlowski, after being released from custody at the Calgary Remand Centre in May 2021. (File photo) Artur, left, and Dawid Pawlowski, after being released from custody at the Calgary Remand Centre in May 2021. (File photo)
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The Alberta Independence Party, a political party that aims to reduce the province's reliance on the federal government has parted ways with its leader, Calgary street pastor Artur Pawlowski.

In a social media post, the organization said it made the decision after "serious consideration and deliberation" and was because Pawlowski no longer represented the party's views correctly.

"The Independence Party has a party platform and policies that reflect the hope of Albertans as an independent nation," the party said on Twitter.

"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."

'COULD NOT SUBMIT'

Pawlowski says the Independence Party's decision was given to him on March 28 – his 50th birthday.

In a Facebook statement, he accused the party of "spearheading" an attack on him and his religious beliefs.

"For months the board was bombarding me and demanding that I stop talking about God, moral principles and true freedom and independence. I was told multiple times that I cannot talk about grooming of children, drag queen shows, abortion and corruption in our present government," he said.

He added that he "could not submit" to the party's demands and was told that he could no longer be the leader of the party.

"I never had, nor ever will, abandon my faith and moral standards. I have been and always will fight for everyone’s freedom even if I disagree with someone else’s life choices. I expected the same from this party."

Pawlowski was most recently in a Lethbridge courtroom where he is on trial for allegedly breaching a release order and mischief for inciting the protesters involved in the Coutts border dispute in February 2022.

The court heard evidence that Pawlowski told the gathering that they had the power in the situation and they should not lose their momentum with their protest.

Pawlowski has maintained his innocence, telling the court that he was only encouraging a peaceful protest.

Prosecutors said the trial has nothing to do with political speech and is instead about the offence of inciting others to commit crimes.

The process to replace Pawlowski as leader is not immediately known, but the party says it hopes the future leader "will communicate hope, unity and preservation of a strong and patriotic voice for all Albertans."

In a statement to CTV News Wednesday, Pawlowski said his departure from the Independence Party was not necessarily "a bad thing."

"I have no intention of stopping to represent Albertans, not just a few individuals that want to control what we are allowed and not allowed to say."

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