John Carpay | Barrister and Solicitor

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Published Columns

Why I plan to run for the Wildrose

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When I started serving the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as Alberta Director in 2001, I thought I would be working co-operatively with the Progressive Conservative government to advance taxpayer-friendly policies.

I assumed the PCs, based on their reputation (at that time) for reducing the size of the Alberta government, would welcome proposals like taxpayer protection legislation: no tax increases without the approval of taxpayers in a referendum. I thought they would embrace spending-control legislation: a law to limit growth in government spending to inflation and Alberta's population growth. I assumed the PCs would support citizens' initiative legislation and MLA recall as ways of increasing accountability. I thought the PCs would welcome suggestions for health care reform, and transparency regarding MLA compensation.

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Greenpeace's carbon footprint takes wing

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By John Carpay, For The Calgary Herald

August 10, 2010

The hypocrisy of Greenpeace was on full display last week, when one of its law-breaking protesters was granted bail so he could go home to Belgium, after hanging a "Separate Oil and State" banner from the Calgary Tower. Greenpeace preaches that producing and consuming energy is sinful and destructive, but the organization has no qualms about its activists using extra energy to come thousands of miles around the world for unnecessary trips. Why not rely exclusively on Calgary activists to carry out silly stunts? Are there so few Greenpeace protesters in this city that foreigners must be brought in?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:15 Read more...
 

Speaking out better than prosecuting

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By John Carpay, For The Calgary Herald

July 27, 2010

Can government coerce people into becoming tolerant, respectful and sensitive? It's a question raised by human rights legislation in Alberta, in other provinces and federally. These laws make it illegal to say or write things which offend people on the basis of their race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender and other factors.

Youth pastor Stephen Boissoin was prosecuted under Alberta's human rights law for a letter to the editor published in the Red Deer Advocate in 2002, in which he vociferously denounced teaching children about homosexuality in the public school curriculum. After incurring tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills to defend himself against this human rights complaint, Boissoin in 2008 was ordered by an Alberta Human Rights Panel to pay $5,000 to the University of Calgary professor who filed the complaint, plus pay $2,000 to a witness in the proceedings, plus refrain forever from making "disparaging remarks" about homosexuals. This ruling was overturned by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in 2009, but the complainant professor has appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal, so Boissoin's ordeal is not over yet.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:19 Read more...
 

Pay out of pocket and wait no more for care

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By John Carpay, For The Calgary Herald

July 13, 2010

Alberta health bureaucrats are paid as much as $812,000 per year while many of their fellow citizens endure discomfort and pain as they wait for surgery.

Some Albertans risk death while cancer spreads in their bodies for months and months before they receive the necessary diagnostic tests and treatment. Salary-plus-bonus figures ranging from $726,000 to $812,000 per year, paid to senior bureaucrats, are an outrage to Albertans who must suffer in pain on waiting lists, and who are prevented from working to earn a living.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:29 Read more...
 

The freedom to speak out against abortion

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National Post
May 11, 2010
By John Carpay

At the University of Calgary, setting up a pro-life display on campus can end your academic career. Last week, Vice-Provost Meghan Houghton found eight student guilty of a “major violation” of rules governing “non-academic misconduct” — a category that also includes theft, vandalism, arson, violence, and sexual assault.

Of course, the U of C is being careful about how it is framing its case, using the canard of campus security as a pretext for censorship: When the students resisted the university’s demand that they set up their graphic anti-abortion display such that no passersby could readily see the signs, they were accused of “failing to comply with the direction of a Campus Security Officer in the legitimate pursuit of his/her duties.”

Last Updated on Friday, 03 September 2010 01:56 Read more...
 
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