May 14, 2021

-Global News


Alberta Health Services has been granted a restraining order against Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston, who has openly threatened health-care workers and officials fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnston, a far-right social media personality and COVID denier, targeted AHS workers in a series of online video streams. He’s also posted photos and personal information of AHS personnel, calling on his viewers to document further AHS employees.

“To all AHS members who decided they wanted to enter peoples’ properties: the day that I am mayor of Calgary, you’re all going to be in handcuffs,” Johnston said in one of the streams. “I’m coming for you all.

“And if SWAT won’t come, it’s simple: I’ll arm myself and I’ll come right to your doors and I’ll come and get you.”

Speaking with Global News earlier this week, Johnston said AHS is in “contravention of the law” in enforcing COVID-19 public health orders and that if elected mayor, he’ll order Calgary police to arrest AHS employees.

In a Friday news release, AHS said it requested the restraining order to “protect staff and physicians.”

The order prevents Johnston from “obstructing or interfering with AHS and its officers and employees” in their efforts to enforce the Public Health Act and orders from the chief medical officer of health.

“The order prohibits him from threatening such conduct or urging others to engage or assist in such conduct,” AHS said.

“The order also prohibits him from contacting any AHS employees by any means, recording or photographing AHS employees, visiting any AHS sites (except for necessary medical treatment), attending at the residential premises of AHS officers or employees, approaching or being within 100 metres of any AHS public health officer, and publishing any threats or hate speech directed at AHS and its officers and employees, including soliciting the names, addresses, phone numbers and other personal or private information.”

It order also stipulates Johnston is to remove any existing statements targeting AHS workers, that contain threats or their photos or personal information.

AHS said aggression or hate speech directed toward its staff is “unacceptable and unwarranted.”

“Mr. Johnston has engaged in persistent threatening conduct and communication in the media and on social media over the past number of weeks,” AHS said.

“He has engaged in aggressive and threatening behaviour towards specific individuals employed by AHS as well as the general AHS workforce.

“AHS took this legal step to protect our staff and to ensure they are supported and cared for.”

Any police or peace officer is authorized to arrest and remove Johnston if it’s believed he’s contravening the restraining order, it states, at which point he can be detained and brought before a judge.

The order is in effect until at least June 30.