John Carpay

John Carpay returns to lead the Justice Centre after being sidelined for hiring a private eye to dig up dirt on a Manitoba judge. —photo courtesy CBC

Albertans who join protests against the UCP government’s COVID-19 lockdown measures no longer need to fear being arrested, says the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

Police forces in Alberta issued a warning to COVID-19 protesters on May 6 that a new court injunction obtained by the Alberta Health Serviced cleared the way for them to start making immediate arrests.

The injunction came days before a protest was held at the Whistle Stop Cafe against the COVID-19 lockdowns that have been brought in by the Jason Kenney government.

But the JCCF went to the Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary this Thursday and got the injunction modified to say only protest organizers need fear arrest.

“The amended Order will now apply only to Whistle Stop Café, (owner) Christopher Scott, Glen Carritt, and “and any other person acting under their instructions or in concert with them and with Notice of this Order,” said the JCCF.

“With the words “or independently to like effect” removed, the amended Order does not apply to people beyond those referred to in the Order. The Justice Centre’s application was consented to by counsel for Alberta Health Services and counsel for Whistle Stop.”

But the JCCF warns protesters, while no longer facing arrest, could still be given hefty fines.

“Those attending peaceful public gatherings are still liable to receive $2,000 fines, which can be contested in court on the basis that public health orders are unjustified violations of the Charter freedoms of association, religion, conscience and peaceful assembly,” said the JCCF.

“The May 6 Order may well be the single broadest restraining order in common law history, and was obtained behind closed doors by AHS, in secret at that time,” said JCCF president John Carpay.

““Courts have consistently applied the legal principle that an injunction or restraining order must apply only to select individuals or organizations, not to the public at large.”

The weekend saw not only the arrest of Scott, but that of Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski who has repeatedly held packed church services.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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