INNISFAIL – Outspoken former town councillor Glen Carritt is smiling today.
The first part of his legal challenges appear to be over, with the Crown electing not to pursue a public health violation charge against him for hosting an outdoor Easter party during a time of strict provincial COVID-19 restrictions.
On Oct. 18, the office of the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General confirmed that a stay of proceedings was ordered by the Provincial Court of Alberta on Oct. 17 for Carritt’s COVID-related violation ticket.
A stay of proceedings is defined as a suspension of court action without resolution of guilt or innocence.
He was charged for contravening an Alberta chief medical officer order under the provincial Public Health Act for hosting the holiday party on April 3, 2021.
On Oct. 28 Carritt told the Albertan he was pleased with the court decision.
“I think it's good news. I think that today in this country we still live in a free country. It just goes to show there’s not enough evidence to uphold a ticket for people coming to an event that they want to come to in their own free will,” said Carritt.
“People will continue to exercise their rights in a free country and make choices on their own, and the courts are finally realizing that, and realizing that we’re able to do that.”
Carritt said he did not appear in Red Deer provincial court on the date the charge was stayed. However, he did appear previously on the charge, which he termed a “complete waste of taxpayers’ money".
“There were three town members that appeared in court, so that's a complete waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
“I'm glad to see the courts are not wasting time any further, and the time of the town employees and myself and the court time.”
With the COVID-related ticket matter now appearing over, Carritt still has to deal with the second part of his legal challenges; assault and mischief charges laid against him following a Freedom Convoy rally on Feb. 3 that was travelling from Eckville to Sylvan Lake.
Carritt is scheduled for trial in Red Deer provincial court on Jan. 10.
He told the Albertan he’s prepared to fight the charges after refusing an offer to accept a “peace bond.”
“I've never met the man prior. I had no intention to have engagement with him further. I did nothing wrong. I stopped the man from running over a pedestrian and ramming my truck. I did nothing wrong,” said Carritt of the alleged altercation on Feb. 3.
“I’m not going to accept a peace bond plea. I believe this matter will be dismissed by the Crown as well.”
As for his future plans once all his legal issues have been resolved, Carritt said he will continue to focus on business and family.