A mayoral candidate from the October 2021 Calgary municipal election is facing trial in a Drumheller courtroom for criminal charges stemming from an April 2021 incident in Delburne.
Lawyer Ian McCuaig, of McCuaig Law in Ontario, appeared on behalf of Kevin J. Johnston via video conference on Friday, July 22 to request an adjournment.
Mr. McCuaig explained his client wants to set a trial date, but is unable to fly Mr. McCuaig to Alberta for trial. He added Mr. Johnston is in the process of trying to obtain a more local counsel representative.
The charges Johnston is facing in Drumheller court stem from an April 2021 incident in Delburne. Three Hills RCMP were informed of a protest in Delburne on April 7, 2021 against COVID-19 protocols. It was discovered Johnston was in attendance, but had left before officers arrived.
Charges, including mischief and causing a disturbance, were sworn in July 2021 from this incident.
These matters were adjourned to Friday, August 12 to allow Johnston time to make a decision on his counsel representation.
Although these are the only charges Johnston is facing in Drumheller courts, he has faced numerous other charges in multiple jurisdictions.
Johnston was sentenced to 40 days in jail, to be served on weekends, in September 2021 for breaching three judge’s orders to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. He was also sentenced to 18 months in jail in Ontario for contempt of a judge’s orders in a hate speech case against a Toronto-based restaurateur.
In January 2022, Johnston made headlines after failing to appear for the final four days of his sentence in Alberta and later arrested by U.S. authorities after illegally crossing near the Montana/North Dakota border. He was arrested on the same day he was to begin serving his 18 month sentence in Ontario.
Johnston is also set to stand trial on September 23 in Dawson Creek, B.C. for assault charges stemming from a March 2021 incident.
Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail