INNISFAIL – Outspoken mayoral candidate Glen Carritt has pleaded not guilty to violating provincial COVID restrictions for his Easter party last April and vows to vigorously fight the charge at his newly scheduled trial in November.
“Yes. It's unwarranted and comes with zero evidence,” said Carritt in a text. “My ticket was for having an Easter party for kids. And still to date zero. Zero. No confirmed cases for outside gatherings.”
Carritt was originally scheduled to appear in Red Deer provincial court on June 9 to answer to a COVID-related violation ticket that on April 3 he contravened an Alberta chief medical officer order under the provincial Public Health Act.
Carritt’s violation ticket, which was served to him by an Innisfail peace officer shortly after the April 3 Easter weekend event, states he has a voluntary payment option to pay a $1,200 fine. However, Carritt has pleaded not guilty and his trial has been set for Nov. 26 in Red Deer provincial court.
After being asked if he wanted to comment on his new trial date, Carritt targetted all levels of government for what he says is “hypocritical” governing conduct, including the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We live in a hypocritical society where we have one set of rules for thee and one set of rules for we. We have government at all levels, federal, provincial and municipal that want to impose “rules” – not laws – on people (while) completely ignoring them for themselves.
“We have all seen Trudeau at the G7, Kenney with patiogate and even in Innisfail our mayor had a gathering at Dodd’s Lake, which was more the double the set guidelines at the time and then has the media photo (him) alone with a mask,” he added. “We obviously aren’t scared of a virus if the hypocrisy is so noticeable.”
The former town councillor, who resigned his seat last January after being confronted by other council members for his support of a defiant business owner over COVID restrictions, promoted the April 3 gathering as the First Annual Spring Fever event, as well as a celebration for the Easter weekend.
Carritt then went on to support The No More Lockdown Rodeo Rally near Bowden on May 1 and 2, as well as a Save Alberta Campout Protest rally at Mirror’s Whistle Stop Café.
On May 6, Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice John D. Rooke handed down a pre-emptive court injunction against Carritt, the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror and its operator Christopher Scott, that prohibits them from organizing, promoting and attending illegal public gathering that conflict with the Public Health Act, at either a public or private place. The court ruling also forbids them to even promote illegal gatherings by social media.
The court decision also states that if anyone under the order breaches any condition they can be brought before the Court of Queen’s Bench and could be held in civil contempt.
Following the handing down of the injunction, Carritt cancelled controversial plans to have another outdoor party in Innisfail on May 15.
- With files from Simon Ducatel.