Litigating for health care reform in Canada: How new legal challenges aim to extend Chaoulli’s scope // Speaker bio: John Carpay

Posted By Rosel Kim – Feb. 18, 2014
On February 22nd, 2014, the McGill Journal of Law and Health’s annual colloquium will be revisiting the divisive Chaoulli decision and analyzing the impact it has had nine years after its release.  The colloquium, “Litigating for health care reform in Canada: How new legal challenges aim to extend Chaoulli’s scope” will examine legal decisions from Alberta and British Columbia that indicate Chaoulli’s influence is spreading to other provinces. Here is the biography of one of our speakers, John Carpay.
John Carpay has been a voice for freedom in Canada’s courtrooms since 2001, when his then-employer, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, intervened in Benoit v. Canada. In the Benoit case, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation argued that race, ancestry, descent, and ethnicity should not be grounds for the unequal taxation of Canadians. John also championed racial equality before the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Kapp, representing the intervener Japanese Canadian Fishermen’s Association. He defended freedom of expression before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Whatcott v. Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, and before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Lund v. Boissoin. John’s involvement in Kingstreet Investments v. New Brunswick led to a victory for taxpayers and for democratic accountability, with the Supreme Court of Canada recognizing the principle of “no taxation without representation.” In Wilson v. University of Calgary (currently before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench) John advocates for the right of tuition-paying students to express their opinions on campus in the face of the university’s censorship demands. The court action of Allen v. Alberta seeks to empower citizens with the right to access health care outside of the unaccountable government monopoly with its long and painful waiting lists.  John Carpay serves on the Board of Advisors of iJustice, an initiative of the Centre for Civil Society, India.
Preston Manning presented John Carpay with the Pyramid Award for Ideas and Public Policy in recognition of John’s success in building up and managing a non-profit organization to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians.
Originally from the Netherlands, John grew up in Williams Lake, B.C. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at Laval University in Quebec City, and his LL.B. from the University of Calgary. He is fluent in English, French, and Dutch.
John served the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as Alberta Director from 2001 to 2005, advocating for lower taxes, less waste, and accountable government. During that time,Alberta Venture magazine named him as one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people. The Edmonton Sun described him as the “unofficial leader of the opposition.”
John’s many columns have been published in newspapers across Canada, and are posted at and
John, his wife Barbra, and their four children reside in Calgary.
To RSVP or to receive more information about the colloquium, please contact:

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