Pastor Tim Stephens of Calgary has returned to his family as the province of Alberta moved into stage 3 of its reopening plan.

As of Canada Day, the province is now free of most health restrictions, including the ban on indoor gatherings.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms says that Stephens, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church, was released from the Calgary Remand Centre as a result. Stephens was arrested for a second time on June 14 for allegedly breaking public health orders by holding an outdoor worship gathering on June 6. Since that date, he had remained in custody after refusing to agree to bail conditions, which would include a ban on holding more gatherings.

Stephens' church and GraceLife Church near Edmonton also had their property seized by Alberta Health Services after they continued to hold worship gatherings. As of July 1, the properties have been returned to the congregations the JCCF says in a release.

"Pastor Stephens was previously arrested and jailed after leading a church service at Fairview Baptist on Sunday, May 16, on the basis of a May 6 court injunction issued against Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alberta, in a secret court proceeding," the JCCF claims. "Pastor Stephens was in jail for three days. The Alberta Crown has now admitted that his arrest was unlawful.  A lawsuit against the Crown for damages is pending."