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Winnipeg Police Charge Second Man with Attempting to Intimidate Justice Official

January 12, 2023 12:16 PM | The Canadian Press


By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Manitoba Law Courts

Manitoba Law Court building in downtown Winnipeg, Monday, August 18, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — A second lawyer has been charged in the surveillance of a Manitoba judge who was hearing a case involving COVID-19 public health orders.

Randal Jay Cameron, 45, has been charged with attempting to obstruct justice and intimidation of a justice system participant, Winnipeg police said Thursday. Earlier this month, they laid similar charges against John Carpay.

Carpay is president of the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which has been fighting COVID-19 restrictions in a number of courts. Cameron was a lawyer for the centre.

Both men represented several churches that tried in 2021 to overturn Manitoba public health orders that temporarily prevented in-person religious services during the height of the pandemic.

Carpay took a temporary leave as president of the centre after admitting in court to hiring a private investigator to follow the judge presiding over the case, Chief Justice Glenn Joyal of the Manitoba Court of King’s Bench.

Cameron told the court at the time he was not involved in the decision to hire the investigator but had known about it for a couple of weeks. Carpay is scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing with the Law Society of Manitoba next month.

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Joyal eventually ruled against the churches. The public health orders did not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Manitoba’s chief public health officer had the authority to issue the orders along with the provincial government, Joyal ruled. The churches have appealed that decision

Carpay has said his group organized private investigation surveillance on a number of public officials across the country to see whether they were following public health orders

Cameron Friesen, Manitoba’s justice minister at the time, called the surveillance gravely concerning and ostensibly aimed at embarrassing or intimidating the judge.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms did not respond to an interview request Thursday and posted a brief statement on its website.

“The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms was made aware today that Jay Cameron, a lawyer who has worked with the Justice Centre, was arrested and released on charges relating to John Carpay’s hiring of a private investigator in Manitoba. The Justice Centre has no further comment at this time.”

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