A judge in Alberta has delivered a stinging condemnation to a controversial Calgary mayoralty candidate and ruled that he should serve 40 days in jail for contravening COVID-19 court orders.
As things stand, Kevin J. Johnston will serve his sentence at the Calgary Remand Centre on weekends starting September 17. Also, he must pay Alberta Health Services $20,000.
The court found Johnston guilty of three counts of civil contempt for repeatedly sharing hateful broadcasts directed at health officials and for disregarding public health measures.
Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adam Germain was heavily critical of Johnston’s behaviour.
Germain said: “It’s clear that Mr Johnston is an individual of great, charismatic persuasion. Unfortunately, he has manifested that persuasion, at least as it relates to Alberta Health Services matters, in a way in which we could call an attack on societal norms, and AHS and the system have struck back.
“If Mr Johnston had used his considerable powers of persuasion to encourage people to wear masks, encouraged them to socially distance, encourage them to take the vaccinations, Alberta would not right now be in the fourth crisis wave of this pandemic.”
Germain disclosed that Alberta Health Services is in a “death struggle” and should be backed instead of torn down. He said Alberta people are dying as a result of COVID-19, while some people are alone and gasping for breath.
He said Johnston bears at least some responsibility for that.
Germain said: “Had Mr Johnston devoted his considerable energies and power of persuasion to that cause today, he would not be sanctioned in a quasi-criminal type of proceeding. Today, he would be lauded for his foresight and his dedication.”
Johnston is one of 28 candidates vying for Calgary mayor in the October 18 vote.
While talking further, Germain said Johnston should have been urging people to get vaccinated while on the campaign trail.
“But he didn’t do that. He did the contrary,” Germain said. “Frankly, gentlemen, in Alberta, if you breach an order of the Court of Queen’s Bench in such a public and defiant way, you may expect a period of imprisonment.”