John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, was arrested over charges he hired a private investigator to follow a Manitoba judge involved in a COVID-19 public health order case.
In a statement issued on Jan. 1, the Justice Centre said Carpay was made aware of the charges on Dec. 30, and turned himself in to police. He was released on bail after spending 23 hours in detention, the statement said.
Carpay had stepped away from his position after it emerged that he had hired a private investigator in June 2021 to follow Chief Justice Glenn Joyal to see if he would violate any public health rules related to COVID-19. At the time, Joyal was overseeing a case involving a number of churches in Manitoba represented by the Justice Centre, challenging pandemic public health orders that restricted church operations.
The Justice Centre and Carpay said at the time that the decision was Carpay’s alone, and that he took full responsibility for it.
Carpay resumed his position as head of the organization in August.
The Justice Centre says the warrant for Carpay’s arrest was issued by the Winnipeg Police Service, and Carpay, who lives in Calgary, turned himself in to the Calgary Police Service after learning about it.
“The Justice Centre is deeply disappointed by the decision of Winnipeg Police Service to lay a criminal charge for events that took place more than 18 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,” the statement said.
“Oddly, Mr. Carpay’s sole bail condition states that he cannot contact Chief Justice Joyal, an individual that Mr. Carpay has not had any communication with apart from the apologies that he issued in 2021.”
The Epoch Times contacted the Winnipeg Police Service for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.