Mostly this is a writing blog. But occasionally I write about other things. It seems to me that if I’ve got this plaform and I’m paying for it, I should get to have a few opinions. Today’s opinion is about John Carpay, a disgrace to the practice of law.
Why do I feel the need to call out a second rate Alberta lawyer who I’ve never met?
Well, I’ll tell you. Every writer needs a day job. I’m a lawyer. And I’m not going to be flippant here. I believe in it. I believe in something called Justice. In law school, my fellow students laughed at me, but I was a believe. I believed in the social contract, I believed in our innate duty to be decent, to be moral to each other. I believed that the practice of lawyer was to implement and negotiate that social contract, to help people in need, to help build a better world. It mattered to me. When I became a lawyer, I wore the robes, and I signed my name into the rolls. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, I became an officer of the court. And I believed that this was a noble and honourable calling, that carried with it a duty of integrity and ethics. It has been touchstone of my life.
Every now and then, I run across lawyers who basically wipe their ass on the profession, Dangerfield, a prosecutor who abused his power, Shead a commercial lawyer who helped swindle innocent people. These people offend me. They’re not just bad, they’ve sodomized the integrity of a calling, a cause, a profession I’ve given my life to. They’re abominations to me.
So what did John Carpay do?
Simple. He hired a private detective to spy on the Queen’s Bench Justice who he was fighting a case in front of. The Justice was Glenn Joyal, Chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench. I actually knew Joyal back when I was an articling student and he was at the department of justice. He was, even then, a gracious and exemplary man, an gift to the profession, and I was genuinely pleased to see him elevated.
It’s hard for me to put into words exactly how profoundly obscene that is. A Judge is required to be independent, they are the neutral triers who hear the case. If a Judge feels they can’t be fair, they’ll remove themselves from a case. If for whatever reason you think a Judge is biased then you bring a motion or an application in advance and have it out. And in the worst of all possible worlds, if a Judge is definitely unfair, you appeal.
WHAT YOU DON’T DO IS HIRE A PRIVATE DETECTIVE TO GO ON FISHING EXPEDITIONS. YOU DON’T MANUFACTURE CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT THE JUDGE IN YOUR DEPRAVED LITTLE MIND. YOU DON’T GO LOOKING FOR PETTY AMMUNITION IN HOPES OF SCORING SOME CHEAP POINTS WITH RIGHT WING MOUTHBREATHERS. YOU DON’T GO LOOKING FOR BLACKMAIL OR EXTORTION MATERIAL. YOU DON’T HATCH WACKY PLANS. YOU DON’T TRY TO HARASS, OR THREATEN, OR INTIMIDATE OR BULLY THE JUDGE WHO IS DEALING WITH YOUR CASE, AND YOU DON’T INDULGE IN STUPID REINDEER GAMES.
JESUS H. CHRIST!!!
WHAT IN TARNATION IS WRONG WITH THIS GUY?
That’s not complicated.
Now to be completely fair to Mr. Carpay, he has some things to say in his defense.
He didn’t intend that the Justice should find out, if no one had ever found out, then no harm no foul. Well, Sherlock, I’m not buying it – just because someone gets away with molesting their child doesn’t mean it’s not morally and legally heinous.
And he says he was only trying to find out if the Justice was abiding the mask mandate.
Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about the crazy, reckless, morally bankrupt selfish loons, who feel that wearing a mask, having to suffer even a tiny inconvenience for the health and safety of others, is just a bridge too far. It’s a conspiracy theory to turn us all into socialists. It’s about the microchips in vaccines, and the fact that Covid-19 is a hoax because Donald Trump said so. Here we are, a year and a half into a goddamned pandemic, and these loathesome trolls are still squalling like babies. They’ve left all reason and sense behind, they’re swallowed up in their inane bubble of conspiracy theories and entitlement, and they’re so twisted up with their nonsense and hatred, that they think everyone is as warped and hypocritical and selfish as they are, all they wanted to do is expose the hypocrisy. So by all means hire private detectives to shadow the Justice on their case, and the Chief Medical Officer, and the Prime Minister. I imagine in their sick twisted fantasies, they roll a television set into court, pop in a DVD and go ‘gotcha!’ exposing the personal hypocrisy of the agents of the deep state. Cue the storm. Qanon is validated. Whatever.
Well, to Mr. Carpay, I have two things to say:
First, that’s as crazy as four wolverines on crystal meth trapped in the septic tank under an outhouse. That’s not to say whether it’s true or false. It’s just crazy and stupid.
Second, why should we believe you? Seriously. Presumably you signed your name into the rolls of the Law Society of Alberta, you became an officer of the Court, you subscribed to the calling of law and justice, you bound yourself to a Code of Ethics. And then you just took a gigantic wet shit on that. Well, if someone is willing to do that, then lying isn’t a stretch. So why should we believe you, when you explain why you did what you did? Why should anyone believe anything you say ever again? Your word is worth nothing now. Should we believe that you are alone in this, that the parties you worked for had no idea? Because you say so? Because people tainted with your stink say so? You say that there was no deeper purpose, no more malignant agenda, that there was no intention or openness to blackmail, extortion, intimidation, harassment… it was just an ‘innocent little moral abomination’? You didn’t think it would lead anywhere? You didn’t think that this conduct, or normalising this conduct wouldn’t degrade us all, or open the door for further excesses or abuses? Your position is that if you happened to luck into real dirt on this exemplary man and his family, you wouldn’t have been open to a little back room horse trading – some light extortion?
Mr. Carpay, I believe in the cause of Justice, I pledged my life to it, it is the shining beacon. And you smeared your excrement over it. You took something good and pure, and perverted it. You’ve disgraced yourself, and you’ve us all.
I suggest you abandon the practice of law find a new career. Maybe go work for the Forest service, on those watchtowers in the middle of nowhere, watching for fires, it might keep you out of mischief.
And here’s the background.
This information by the way is accessible. You can find it in the local newspapers, the Winnipeg Sun and the Free Press, likely CBC Radio, around July 14, 2021. It’s out there.
They also complain of ‘unjustified violations of Charter-protected freedoms of conscience, religion, expression and peaceful assembly — and that the chief medical officer of health failed to consider the “collateral social and health costs” of locking down society.’
Well, hold on there buckaroo. First up, Christianity isn’t a suicide pact. Freedom of religion has never extended to risking the lives, safety and health of the flock… although given the Residential schools thing, the Catholic Church might try to argue that point.
I have to say, I have a problem with their argument. Sure, if this was 1900, yeah, things would be tough. But wait a second, here we are in the 21st century. We got radio. We’ve had radio for over a hundred years. Churches have been doing radio sermons that whole time. We got television, seventy years now. We’ve got the internet. Live streaming. We got Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom WebEx. For god’s sakes, we still have telephones, land line and cell. We still have regular mail, and junk mail! In all of human history, there has never been the colossal and dizzying variety of means and methods to get the word of God out to the faithful, to reach out and minister to the flock, individually, collectively and any and every group in between. We have a tidal wave of communication venues.
And they’re complaining? What about?
But maybe there’s a clue, ‘costs’ or ‘collateral costs.’
Because it occurs to me, that if you’re giving a sermon on facebook, there’s no opportunity to pass the collection plate. Leading a small prayer group through zoom, or by a telephone conference call, there’s no money in that. So maybe this is really about the revenue stream? Maybe there’s no other real principle?
Frankly, I’m not suggesting that’s the case. I’m not suggesting that it’s not. I’m not a member of any of these congregations, so I won’t draw conclusions on this point. I mean, they’re definitely wacky, paranoid, conspiracy nutbars – they came right out and said that. But are they money grubbing, mercenary, wacky paranoid, conspiracy nutbars? That’s up to you, oh dear reader.
And frankly, I don’t know whether these Churches, or any representatives of them, were aware of Mr. Carpay’s little espionage wet dream. Mr. Carpay says he was acting alone, but he’s not credible. I haven’t seen a statement from any of these Churches that they had no idea. Then again, I haven’t looked. Maybe they knew, maybe they didn’t. I can’t say, but I can’t exclude the possibilities.
But what I do know, apart from the fact that they’re wacky, paranoid conspiracy nutbars, is that they chose to get in bed with a man of John Carpay’s character, and they’ve chosen to get in bed with an organization like Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. That’s some company they’re keeping, and it’s gone out of its way to hook up with some vile causes. I think that reflects badly on them.
I would say to these Churches, take a good hard look at what you’ve clasped to your bosom, and what that says about who you are and what you really are standing for.
And if that doesn’t bother you, maybe it should bother your congregations. And maybe your congregations should start looking around for new churches that don’t actively work to endanger their parishioners lives. Just a thought…
Ultimately, I keep coming back to the moral depravity of John Carpay and what he did. It strikes me in a personal, fundamental way. I honestly don’t think that I could be less outraged or offended.
But this whole sordid tale goes well beyond that. It’s about the deliberate erosion of decency in our society. It’s about malicious toxicity. Carpay is a symptom. If he disappeared forever, his sordid little think tank would still be gnawing away at the roots of society, along with all their sordid little brothers and sisters, mysteriously funded, unaccountable ‘charities’ that spew hatred and vile, that fan the flames of our ugliest impulses. We would still have this movement to make the world an uglier, harsher place, this elevation and worship of spite and selfishness, this contempt for science, this contempt for our fellow man.
I look down at what the United States has become, and I’m appalled. I’m appalled by January 6, and the apologism and excuse making. I’m appalled by what we’ve learned of Trump’s attempt to overthrow the Constitution and how close he came. I’m appalled at how ugly the Americans have made themselves, how crudely they worship cruelty, how uncaring they are of even basic elements of reality.
I don’t want that here. Yet out there on the right, that ugliness, their money, their mouthpieces, their willing accomplices, seep over the border. We’re a tolerant society. But if we do not challenge this ugliness, then eventually, we’ll be neither tolerant nor a society. These people, these organisations, these Churches need to be called out for what they do, for what they stand for and represent. We can’t just give them a pass.
Maybe it was just Carpay, all alone, and maybe this was the first time ever. Or maybe not. Go and take a really good hard look at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, and take a really good hard look at these Churches and what they are really standing for. Even if you give them the benefit of the doubt that they are purely innocent of Carpay’s transgression… is there anything honourable, or decent or worthy of respect there? Think about it.