Canadian Anti-Hate Network
In a live stream posted to social media on Monday night, Islamophobic vlogger and fringe Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin Johnston appeared to explain to his followers how to commit voter fraud by lying to Elections Alberta officials at the polls in order to vote him into municipal office.
Johnston started the show talking with Dawid Pawlowski, the brother of hate preacher Artur Pawlowski who was arrested on September 27 after returning to Canada from his nearly four-month tour in the US where he rubbed shoulders with the evangelical right and QAnon influencers.
Peppered throughout the show were various references to the Calgary municipal election. At one point, Johnston says he is Canada’s last defence.
“If I lose this election, if I’m not mayor of Calgary, Canada falls.”
Toward the end of the stream, when a resident from Edmonton asks, “What was Kevin saying about voting for him even if we don’t live in Calgary?” Kevin responds with what sounds like encouragement for his base to commit voter fraud.
“[People] are asking, can they move to Calgary and take on a Calgary address and vote for me. Sure. Anybody can move to Calgary whenever they want and go to the AMA office and change your driver’s license. Sure, why not,” Johnston says.
“If you go into the election booth and you say ‘hi, my name is John Smith and here’s my ID but I haven’t changed my ID yet but I do live in Calgary,’ they will give you an affidavit that states that you live in Calgary.
“You sign that, that’s on you,” he tells his viewers, pointing at the camera. “You sign that, and you can vote in the Calgary mayor election.”
According to the city’s website, voters can use an attestation form, however, it must be signed by another community member in a specific position to verify the voter’s address, such as a landlord or authorized person with an educational institution.
Elections Calgary did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
The Day Of The Jackal
Johnston has had a series of run-ins with the law over the course of his activism. An abominable spreader of disinformation, distorted facts, and outright lies, the pandemic has seen his troubles compound in and outside of the courtroom.
Despite running for office in Calgary, Johnston has also found the time to instigate a confrontation with store employees in Dawson Creek, BC, after he was refused service for not wearing a mask. When the local store owner attempted to record his information, Johnston stuck his phone in the man’s face. When it was batted away, Johnston punched him in the face.
The entire event inside and outside of the grocery store was recorded from several angles by several individuals who accompanied him to the store. Despite claiming to place the store owner under a “citizen’s arrest,” when police arrived, Johnston was taken into custody and charged with assault.
Concerns about Johnston’s behaviour also led the City of Calgary to decline to create a voters list that would be distributed to candidates. Johnston has made repeated threats towards Alberta Health Service employees during his live streams, often categorizing them as criminals. The voters list would contain the name and address of every registered voter in the region.
“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,” he shouted on his now-deleted Twitch account. “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.”
Often bragging about his legal prowess to his followers, Johnston has managed to lose every recent foray into the courtroom. He was recently sentenced to pay $20,000 in AHS’ legal fees and serve 40 days in jail over a series of weekends, for his repeated violations of public health orders and contempt of court.
This is after serving roughly seven weeks of jail time in the spring for threatening an AHS inspector.
In early September 2021, the embattled candidate also pled guilty to a hate crime in Ontario for his 2017 offer of $1,000 for video footage of Muslim children praying in public schools.
Far from the only targeting of the Muslim community over the course of his career, Johnston lost a massive civil case brought against him by Mohamad Fakih, the CEO and founder of Paramount Foods. Ordered to pay $2.5 million -- the largest amount ever awarded in Canada for a cyber-libel case -- for defamation after Fakih hosted a Liberal Party fundraiser in 2017.
“You have to be a jihadist or have raped someone else’s wife as a condition of entry to the restaurant,” Johnston remarked to another activist named in the suit, Ranendra “Ron” Banerjee.
Swearing never to pay a cent of the ruling, and continuing to repeatedly call Fakih a terrorist and “baby killer,” Johnston was found by an Ontario judge to have violated a court order to stop “publishing defamatory statements” against the store owner or his lawyers.
His attempts to have the proceedings adjourned fell flat and he is awaiting a sentencing decision by the judge.