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  • Writer's pictureJohn McDonald

Alberta Judge Recognizes Civil Tort of Harassment

In yet another defamation case involving the infamous Kevin J. Johnston, a past mayoral candidate in Calgary and Brampton where he threatened to incarcerate some public health officers and caused at least some severe emotional distress a Court of Kings Justice recognizes a tort of Harassment and assigns damages of $650,000.00 plus costs at 4 times the tariff amount in the highest column.

In a recent decision of the Court of King's Bench in AHS et al v Kevin J. Johnston 2023 ABKB 209 The Honourable Justice Feasby refuted an earlier Ontario Superior Court of Justice Decision and following, in part, an earlier Alberta Decision upheld that there is a gap in the civil law as it relates to harassment on utilized the following test for civil harassment:

a. Outrageous Conduct of the Defendant;

b. the Defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of

causing emotional distress;

c. the Plaintiff suffered severe or extreme emotional distress;


d. actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's

outrageous conduct.

It should be noted that the Court of Appeal stopped short in a previous decision of recognizing the Tort, but unless this matter proceeds to the Appellate Court, it is the most recent, and in my mind most cogent view of the emerging tort of harassment.

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