Calgary mayoral candidate charged with criminal harassment of AHS employee

Calgary mayoral hopeful Kevin J. Johnston defended controversial and threatening remarks he made on a weekend podcast in a Tuesday interview with CTV News

Kevin J. Johnston, who is seeking to become Calgary's next mayor, has been charged with criminal harassment following a police investigation into alleged online threats.

According to police, Johnston allegedly threatened an Alberta Health Services employee on social media over several weeks in April and May.

The 49-year-old remains in custody ahead of his court appearance scheduled for July 12.

Johnston was previously charged with causing a disturbance after he allegedly harassed employees at stores in the CORE shopping centre in downtown Calgary on the Victoria Day long weekend. Police said there were multiple altercations reported on May 22 that allegedly began when staff asked Johnston to wear a face mask.  

An injunction was granted to Alberta Health Services against Johnston over threatening comments made in a podcast.

The mayoral candidate also faces charges in connection with the alleged assault of a grocery store worker in Dawson Creek, B.C. earlier this year after Johnston was asked to leave the store for refusing to wear a face covering.

In 2019, Johnston was ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages to the owner of a chain of Middle Eastern restaurants in Ontario in a defamation case spurred by racially-motivated videos that Johnston posted online.

Criminal charges without a conviction do not disqualify candidates in Calgary's municipal election.