The Canadian Anti-Hate Network
According to court documents posted to CanLii, lawyers for Toronto businessman and philanthropist Mohamad Fakih have brought a contempt of court motion against Islamophobic hate vlogger and anti-lockdown influencer Kevin Johnston for allegedly continuing to defame Fakih. Ontario Superior Court Justice Jane Ferguson issued a permanent injunction against Johnston in 2019, ordering him to cease the racially motivated attacks. The court also ordered Johnston to pay Fakih $2.5 million - the largest award in a cyber case in Canadian history.
“Motivated by ignorance and a reckless regard for acceptable norms, the Johnston defendants' behaviour reflects a contempt for Canada's judicial process, an abuse of the very freedoms this country affords them and a loathsome example of hate speech at its worst, targeting people solely because of their religion. Left unchallenged, it poisons the integrity of our democracy,” Justice Ferguson wrote in the 2019 decision.
He has continued to defame Fakih, referring to him as a terrorist, baby killer and child murderer on live streams.
Under the Criminal Code, contempt of court penalties can include fines and up to 5 years in prison.
A History of Antagonistic and Abusive Behaviour
In 2017, Johnston posted a video offering a $1,000 reward for footage of Toronto Muslim students praying at school.
A five-month-long investigation resulted in charges, but in the almost four years since, he has yet to face trial.
In March, Johnston was charged with assault against a grocery store owner in Dawson Creek, BC. After being refused service for not wearing a mask, he punched the owner of the store in the face while others with him live streamed the incident. He was arrested on scene and charged with one count of assault, according to police.
Johnston currently lives in Calgary, where he is running for mayor. He has made news recently, due to his repeated attacks on Alberta Health Services employees, going as far as to threaten them and their families with doxxing and harassment as retaliation for enforcing health orders during the pandemic.
As a result, the city is currently grappling with how to deal with the fact that mayoral candidates are generally entitled to a list of all eligible voters in Calgary -- including their addresses -- in light of Johnston’s threats.
In one recent stream, Johnston declared that once he became mayor he would arm himself and target AHS employees if the police would not, suggesting they leave the province.
In another stream on his now-deleted Twitch account, he shouted “I’m coming after each and every one of you. This is something you need to consider. All of you are criminals. I don’t have any respect for anyone with Alberta Health Services. I’m going to come after you with everything I’ve got. I’m going to come after you with full vitriol and full malice. You have never once come across a guy like me who cannot wait to see each and every one of you suffer the way you’ve made all of us in Alberta suffer.”
Current legislation says the list of electors can only be used for campaign purposes. If a person uses the list of electors for another purpose, that person would be liable for a fine of up to $100,000, or imprisonment of up to one year -- or both. Any punishment would occur after the fact, and proving that the list was abused and personal information of voters was not obtained in another way could be difficult.
Additionally, the legal system may not be a sufficient deterrent. Johnston has repeatedly said on stream that he has yet to pay any amount of the multimillion dollar judgments already made against him and challenges others to sue him, citing his plans to drag the process out and refusal to pay any amount ordered by the court.