Kevin J. Johnston denied bail by Calgary judge, deemed too high risk to reoffend

Controversial mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston has been denied bail after his arrest earlier this week. 

Controversial mayoral candidate will be held in custody until his trial

Kevin J. Johnston has been denied bail after he was arrested earlier this week for causing a disturbance at a Calgary mall. Johnston is running for mayor. He now faces criminal charges in three provinces. (Kevin J. Johnston/Facebook)

Controversial Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston, who now faces criminal charges in three provinces, has been denied bail after his arrest earlier this week. 

On Friday afternoon, a Calgary judge ruled Johnston is too high a risk to reoffend and ordered he be held in custody pending trial.

Johnston's case will be back in court Monday.

Toronto defence lawyer Ian McCuaig says that while his client is polarizing, he believes Johnston should have been released. 

"We have somebody who's racked up a few charges as Mr. Johnston has … it would be fair to say, 'OK, I can see there is a risk of him generating more offences,'" said McCuaig. 

"But does that further offending endanger the public or the administration of justice?"

On Wednesday, Johnston was arrested and charged with causing a disturbance at a shop in the Core mall, leaving employees fearing for their safety.

Johnston allegedly went into stores in the downtown mall without wearing a mask. When asked to put one on, police said he became verbally abusive to employees.

This is the second time Johnston has been arrested in recent weeks.

For months, Johnston has been in Calgary organizing and promoting anti-lockdown rallies. 

Earlier this month, he was charged with civil contempt for promoting and participating in an illegal public gathering. A contempt hearing will take place June 16.

Johnston faces criminal charges of assault and hate crimes in British Columbia and Ontario.

For weeks, Johnston, who has a history of racist and aggressive behaviour, has been threatening Alberta Health Services employees who he blames for enforcing COVID restrictions. 

Johnston has said several times on videos posted to social media that he is prepared to arm himself and go to the homes of health officials to arrest those who have taken enforcement actions. 

He is currently bound by a restraining order sought by Alberta Health Services, banning him from obstructing or interfering with AHS employees.

There was concern over the fact that as a mayoral candidate, Johnston could receive voters lists with names and addresses of all eligible voters in Calgary

The controversy resulted in the city deciding not to share the lists with any candidates.