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CALGARY, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) says he will not be intimidated after being arrested on charges of obstruction of justice for having a Manitoba judge followed in 2021 during the height of the COVID crisis. 

In a statement sent out on New Year’s Day, the JCCF said that its president, John Carpay, was made aware on December 30, 2022, that the Winnipeg Police had issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for him over a 2021 incident in which he had hired a private investigator to keep tabs on a judge after receiving tips that the judge had been flouting COVID rules.  

“When he was made aware of this warrant, Mr. Carpay immediately turned himself in to Calgary Police Services,” stated the JCCF. 

“This charge is unexpected and without explanation. The events at issue took place over 17 months ago, and police have not previously contacted Mr. Carpay nor the Justice Centre,” added the group of pro-freedom lawyers. 

The JCCF noted that after Carpay turned himself in to the Calgary Police, he was “held in jail for 23 hours in an isolated cell without a cot, mattress, blanket, or even a pillow.” 

The JCCF also revealed that his sole bail condition is that he refrain “from contacting Chief Justice Joyal, an individual that he has never contacted, outside of issuing an apology to him in July 2021.” 

We are deeply disappointed that the Winnipeg Police would choose to lay a criminal charge for events that took place more than 17 months ago and that are already being dealt with appropriately. It is doubly disappointing that it was decided that these actions should take place during the holiday season when Mr. Carpay is spending time with his family,” added the group. 

Upon his release on bail yesterday, Carpay said it’s “ridiculous” that after a year-and-a-half he is “suddenly” being charged with obstruction. 

“I am just thankful to be out and looking forward to driving back to spend New Year’s Eve with my wife and my kids,” said Carpay, adding that “I am not going to be intimidated and I am going to keep on speaking out against the lockdowns, and the travel restrictions, and the vaccine passports, and all of the violations of our rights and freedoms.”  

Explaining the circumstances surrounding the charge, the JCCF noted that “during the height of COVID restrictions and lockdowns, it was reported that key members of Manitoba’s leadership were breaching public health regulations.” 

The JCCF said that “Carpay made the unilateral decision to hire an investigator to ascertain the credibility of these claims in June 2021.” 

Carpay took a two-month leave of absence from his role as JCCF president in early July 2021 after admitting he had Chief Justice Joyal of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench and other government officials followed by a private investigator to see if they were breaking local COVID rules.   

In Canada, according to Investigation Hotline, hiring a private detective is legal so long as certain rules are followed and the investigator is licensed to practice in the province where the investigation takes place.   

According to the JCCF, Carpay had been “cooperating with the investigation of this matter by the Law Society of Manitoba,” and “At the time of the events, the Justice Centre Board of Directors also took appropriate steps to strengthen governance and oversight of the organization while Mr. Carpay took a seven-week leave of absence.” 

The JCCF also noted that it will continue to work “unhindered to defend citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by providing legal representation to Canadians free of charge.” 

The JCCF has been one of Canada’s most prominent legal groups over the last two-and-a-half years, having taken to court various government departments and officials over their imposition of draconian COVID mandates.

In their own words, the JCCF says they have “been active in response to governments’ severe COVID lockdowns and restrictions which stopped Canadians from gathering, worshiping, associating, working, traveling and peaceful assembly.”