Lawyer John Carpay explains legal fight against Alberta's free speech ban

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On May 6, Alberta Health Services went into court in Calgary in secret to obtain an order to restrict Chris Scott of Whistle Stop Cafe, Glen Carritt of United We Roll and 4.4 million Albertans preventing them from organizing, attending or promoting “illegal public gatherings” of five or more people.

Lawyer for Scott and Carritt, Chad Williamson of Williamson Law, was not served notice of the hearing and was not given the opportunity to examine Chief Medical Officer Deena Hinshaw who swore an affidavit to the necessity of the order.

It was a sneaky, anti-free speech ban on protests against the lockdown and it swapped out the usual $1,200 fine for breaking the COVID restrictions with jail time for contempt of a court order.

Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested on May 8 for breach of the order and held for two days.

Chris Scott was arrested on May 9 and held for three days.

Pastor Tim Stephens was arrested this past Sunday, May 16, after services at his Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary for breaching the order.

Williamson was in chambers on Thursday May 13 to try to stay the order. The same day, lawyers for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms were working to have amendments to the broad language that threatened all Albertans with a trip to the slammer for exercising their Charter right to assembly.

While Williamson’s motion was denied, Justice John Rooke determined that a full hearing on the validity of the order would be heard at a later date, including a full examination of Deena Hinshaw, lawyers for the Justice Centre were successful in having the order amended to only include those named in it — Scott and Carritt.

Justice Centre president John Carpay joined Adam Soos by phone to explain the changes to the amendment.

According to Carpay, there were members of the media, including CBC present in court, for the hearing, and yet to his knowledge, there was not a single media outlet that reported on the fundamental changes to the injunction.

The media wouldn't want people to know they wouldn’t go to jail for holding a protest. The media wants Albertans scared at home instead of out in the streets and elsewhere exercising their rights to oppose the government.

The changes to the order, according to James Kitchen, the Justice Centre lawyer representing Fairview Baptist Church, throw the legality of the arrest of Stephens into question, given the order was amended only three days prior to him being taken into custody by Calgary police for breaching it.

Rebel News is covering the legal fees for Chis Scott to challenge the order with the help of Williamson Law. If you’d like to support the important work to overturn that attack on free speech, please donate today at

Donations to now qualify for a charitable tax receipt through the registered Canadian charity, The Democracy Fund.

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