Calgary

AHS lawyers ask judge to find Kevin J. Johnston guilty of contempt

Wearing a blue jail jumpsuit and facemask that sat below his nose, Kevin J. Johnston watched from the Calgary Remand Centre as lawyers for Alberta Health Services played video after video of him threatening AHS workers and breaching public health restrictions.

Johnston is running for mayor of Calgary but is in custody on criminal charges

Kevin J. Johnston's contempt hearing got underway Wednesday but will continue at the end of the month. (Derek Storie/Facebook)

Wearing a blue jail jumpsuit and facemask that sat below his nose, Kevin J. Johnston watched from the Calgary Remand Centre as lawyers for Alberta Health Services asked a judge to find him guilty of contempt.

The mayoral candidate's civil contempt hearing got underway Wednesday with AHS lawyers playing video after video of Johnston threatening AHS workers and breaching public health restrictions.

Johnston is accused of breaching a court order that he respect public health orders and cease his promotion, participation and organization of large gatherings where physical distancing, attendance and masking requirements are being intentionally breached.

Johnston is in custody after being twice denied bail on criminal charges of causing a disturbance after he showed up at the Core Mall in downtown Calgary on May 22 and tried to enter stores without wearing a mask.

Since he arrived in Alberta from Ontario in December, Johnston has become a leader in the pandemic-denying, anti-health restriction movement.

In videos posted online, Johnston has repeatedly gone after AHS — one inspector in particular.

"This is what a terrorist looks like," said Johnston of the inspector in one of his online video posts played for Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain by AHS lawyer Mark Jackson.

Johnston went on to post images of the woman, her husband and kids, although the faces of the children were distorted.

Johnston called the inspector's husband "brain damaged" and said, "I intend to destroy this woman's life."

Germain won't be making a decision until at least the end of the month. The case has been adjourned to June 28, when Johnston's lawyer will present his arguments.

Johnston faces charges in 3 provinces

On May 22, Johnston became verbally abusive to store employees in the Core Mall after he was refused entry for being maskless, Calgary police allege.

Days after his arrest, a provincial court judge denied bail to Johnston, finding he was too high a risk to reoffend. Earlier this week, a Court of Queen's Bench judge denied a second application for release. 

Last week, AHS filed a defamation lawsuit against Johnston for $1.3 million. 

Johnston is also facing an assault charge in B.C. and a hate crime charge in Ontario.

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