John Carpay, the President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), has been charged by Winnipeg Police for obstruction of justice and has turned himself in to Calgary Police. 

Winnipeg Police issued the charges on December 30, 2022, in relation to a June 2021 incident where Carpay hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance on a number of Manitoba government officials, including the Chief Justice of Manitoba Glenn Joyal. Carpay turned himself in immediately after learning of the warrant for his arrest.

In a statement issued by the JCCF, they assert that the charges against Carpay are “unexpected and without explanation,” as the incident in question occurred more than a year and a half before charges were laid. 

“The Justice Centre is deeply disappointed by the decision of Winnipeg Police to lay a criminal charge for events that took place more than 18 months ago and that are already being dealt with appropriately,” reads the JCCF statement. 

On July 12, 2021, Carpay apologized to Chief Justice Joyal for surveilling him, saying that his decision “constituted a failure to treat the Court with candour, fairness, courtesy and respect.”

Carpay took a seven week leave of absence from his position after the incident, although at the time he denied that hiring the PI had anything to do with his duties with the JCCF and said he had not discussed the surveillance with any staff or board members. 

Carpay also denied that the private investigator was hired in relation to a case being heard by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, where the JCCF represented seven churches that were fined for holding church service in spite of provincial Covid-19 restrictions. On October 21, 2021, Chief Justice Joyal upheld the provincial lockdown policies.

Carpay says he took it upon himself to conduct surveillance on Manitoba government officials in an effort to expose the violation of Covid-19 government mandates and measures by said government officials.

“Mr. Carpay’s decision to conduct surveillance of Manitoba government officials followed a number of high-profile instances where those who imposed and enforced lockdown restrictions were themselves found violating their own rules, partying on rooftops, ignoring rules about face masks and social distancing, and jetting off to exotic holiday locations to countries without Covid restrictions,” reads the JCCF statement. 

According to the JCCF statement, Carpay’s sole bail condition states that Carpay is not allowed to contact Manitoba Chief Justice Joyal. 

Prior to the announcement of the charges, Carpay was already facing a disciplinary hearing with the Law Society of Manitoba in relation to his surveillance of the judge. The hearing is scheduled for early February.