John Carpay, you’re a disgrace

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.




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.

Rant over….

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.

hired Private Detectives to stalk a Judge in Manitoba on a case that they were involved in.
And, ladies and gentlemen, when you get into the details, it is exactly as horrific and sleazy as it sounds.
So here’s the story, as reported in the papers. A wacko group called ‘JUSTICE CENTRE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS’ launched a constitutional challenge in Manitoba, and apparently, as part of their legal strategy, they decided it would be a good idea to hire private detectives to stalk the Judge who was trying their case.
Didn’t I tell you? Exactly as horrific and sleazy.
Even more horrific and sleazy. The constitutional challenge is on behalf of seven Manitoba churches that have decided that they don’t want to be bothered with public health. They believe that mask requirements and social distancing violates their religious rights to infect their congregation while hauling money out of their congregation. I suppose that its hard to hold parishioners up for donations remotely.
At this point, I already have a few friends who came down with Covid-19, I know a few who died, and the families they left behind. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the selfish, arrogant, ignorant pissants who traffic in lies and misinformation, and put all the rest of us at risk, because they’d rather people die than be inconvenienced in any way.
If someone wants to argue this point with me, we can have that conversation, but I’ll guarantee, it won’t be a pleasant conversation. I’ll make sure it hurts.
The group is “JUSTICE CENTRE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS” a self described “Libertarian” organization established ten years ago in Alberta.
Apparently their specialty is launching “asshole lawsuits.” For instance they went to court because someone got denied a license plate that read “GRABHER” and another that said “ASSIMIL8” They’ve gone to court to argue that indigenous ceremonies infringe the rights of Christian school children, and to attack the privacy rights of kids in gay/straight alliances.  Apparently, they’ve filed at least thirty lawsuits. It’s not so much freedom that they’re defending, there’s no free speech issue in a personalized license plate, that’s not a right, it’s a service provided for a few extra bucks. Mainly, it’s about extending the scope of assholes to be obnoxious.
From the little I’ve read, they seem to be another one of these flaky right wing ‘think tanks’ like the Manitoba Taxpayers Federation or the Frontier Center for Public Policy that pop up from time to time. Mysterious groups with obnoxious front men, who circulate American extremist ideology. Not a lot of thinking going on in these ‘tanks.’
According to the Winnipeg free press, it’s a ‘registered charity’ and collected 2.6 million dollars in donations. That’s quite a lot of money.
From who? That’s mysterious, isn’t it?
You see, a lot of registered charities, Siloam Mission, the United Way, the Lighthouse, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, they have to spend a lot of time and money fundraising, it’s a big part of what they do, and a big part of what you hear about their activities. In fact, most registered charities spend on average about 30% of their revenue on fundraising. It’s higher with some. Lower with others. But it’s a big part of staying in business.
Not these dudes. According to their financial statements, they spend approximately 70% on ‘charitable programming’ (asshole lawsuits and such), the rest goes to salaries, and a little bit to administration.
That makes no sense whatsoever for a genuine charity. It makes a lot of sense if some anonymous parties are funneling big money into an ideological mouthpiece.
These guys? Apparently 2.6 million dollars drops in on them from heaven.
Where does their money actually come from? Who are their donors, and what are those donors agendas? And given how ‘Americanized’ they are, how much of that money comes from the right wing noise machine south of the border?
There’s not a lot of detailed disclosure required for Charities. They’re not required to publish their list of donors, so far as I know. So you can’t tell if it’s one guy giving a million, or a million guys giving a dollar.
But as I’ve said, genuine charities have to work hard for their donations. If its a million guys giving a dollar, well that means that the charity was out in the streets beating the bushes having bake sales, ringing bells on streetcorners. So if they were operating like a normal charity and actually doing fundraising… well, then their budget and financial disclosures makes no sense.
So it’s likely their money comes from one guy, or a small handful. A very few big donations.  That’s my guess from what’s available.
Their disclosures also say that they’ve received at least $10,000 or more from Donors who aren’t from Canada. But they’re not required to say how much. So maybe most of their money comes from within Canada. Or maybe most of it comes from some source or sources outside Canada. That’s all they’re required to disclose. Draw your own conclusions from that.
Anyway, before this all broke they were run by a fellow named John Carpay, an Alberta Lawyer. I used to believe that law was an honourable profession. I still do. Crap like Carpay has pulled should make any lawyer sick and ashamed.
When the story broke, Carpay resigned or took ‘indefinite leave’ after admitting in court he hired private investigators on Chief Queen’s Bench Justice, Glenn Joyal and several other public officials. That’s another one of those things. Has he just taken ‘indefinite leave’ until the heat is off, and he can go back to asshole lawsuits. Or has he truly left/got shown the door, and we can expect him to pop up in some other equally obnoxious role. The thing with these guys, is that once they get into the right wing propaganda machine, its a revolving door, they keep showing up.
The rest of the organization is in full damage control mode, with the directors and other officers and employees denying that they knew anything about Carpay’s disgusting tactics. Maybe they didn’t know, maybe they did. You can believe that if you want. I won’t force you too. A group this sleazy and provocative? I’ve got my own opinion. Underhanded sleazy shit like Carpay’s doesn’t come out of nowhere. The first time they got caught only means its the first time they got caught. It doesn’t mean it’s the first time they’ve done this kind of thing, and the fact that Carpay takes the fall isn’t proof the rest of them are innocent.
The only other person falling on their sword is the organizations litigation counsel, Jay Cameron, who claims he found out only two weeks ago… but apparently shut his mouth. Jay, I sincerely hope you have a long excruciating conversation with the Law Society. I mean that sincerely.
By the way, I suppose this might be another of Carpay’s ‘defences’:  He wasn’t acting as a lawyer, just head of the organization. They had poor old Jay fighting the case as the lawyer of record.  Sorry, cuts no ice with me. Carpay signed his name onto the rolls, he made the commitment, it’s not like a pair if shoes you can put on and take off when you feel like it.  End of story.
This group, or Carpay alone, depending, also hiree Detectives to follow Premier Pallister around too. And they hired Detectives to follow around public health officials. They say it was to ‘see if they were violating public health rules.’ Maybe that was why, maybe it wasn’t.
But hiring a detective on the Queen’s Bench Judge assigned to your case? There’s no innocent or good motive for that. That smacks of obstruction, harassment, attempted extortion. What were they planning to do? What was their goal? Their end game? What the hell were they thinking?
These guys are not new. Their particular little ‘Charity’ that’s a new one on me. But for the last twenty or thirty years, we’ve seen a lot of this kind of thing, all these sleazy little ‘mystery charities’ that always seem to have tons of money and big anonymous donors, meddling in politics, shopping around extremist right wing agendas, staffed by sketchy persons.
We see a shitload of this kind of stuff in the United States, all part of a right wing extremist campaign funded by assholes like the Koch Brothers (1 died, 2 still around). They’ve literally poisoned America with their toxicity. They’ve promoted ignorance and hatred, they’ve brought out and celebrated the worst and ugliest in humans, they promote toxic policies that enrich the richest and make the world an ugly hole for the rest of the people. They promote racism, sexism and homophobia and pretend they’re challenging political correctness. They circulate lies about climate change and call it scepticism. They actively work to make people die and spread a pandemic and call it freedom.
As far as I’m concerned, the Justice Center is just another version of the same old shit. They can get the hell out of Manitoba. They should get the hell out of Canada.
And those seven churches, here are their names:
Gateway Bible Baptist Church,
Pembina Valley Baptist Church,
Redeeming Grace Bible Church,
Grace Covenant Church,
Slavic Baptist Church,
Christian Church Of Morden,
Bible Baptist Church,
Church deacon Thomas Rempel
Winnipegger Ross MacKay
Tobias Tissen, the minister for the
Church of God Restoration near Steinbach
Now, I haven’t read the pleadings. I probably won’t. This whole thing makes my blood boil. But as reported on in various media, the churches are alleging the number of COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba has been “inaccurately inflated and the resulting inaccurate figures” have been used to justify the lockdowns, and that modeling data is “flawed and unreliable.”
That’s right folks. It’s loony toons conspiracy theory. The Manitoba gubmint is faking the Covid-19 statistics for ‘reasuns, lots of reasuns!’ They is just ‘inflatin’ like a balloon.  And the modeling is bad, because you know, it’s not in the Bible, or something.
Listen, I know people who got seriously sick from Covid. I have friends who died of it, decent gracious people. This stuff is dishonest, cynically self serving and deeply offensive. People are dying, and they’re playing parlour games.  That’s obscene.

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.

Here are a few links by the way, but there’s more….