Alberta Lawyer Cleared of Code of Conduct Complaint for Tweets During 2022 Convoy Protest

OTTAWA, Canada – The Law Society of Alberta has recently concluded an investigation into a code of conduct complaint filed almost two years ago against lawyer Keith Wilson. The complaint was in connection with tweets he made during the 2022 convoy protest in Ottawa, Canada. According to a document obtained by Radio-Canada, the law society dismissed the complaint and stated that Wilson had shown remorse for his actions.

Keith Wilson was a prominent figure among the demonstrators during the 2022 protests in the nation’s capital. At the time, he was part of the legal team for the Calgary-based charity, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which represented some of the convoy organizers. However, a complaint was filed against Wilson by Ottawa human rights lawyer Richard Warman in February 2022.

Warman alleged that Wilson’s tweets violated the code of conduct rules, including one that prohibits lawyers from communicating in an abusive or offensive manner. In particular, he accused Wilson of engaging in the trivialization of the Holocaust by retweeting material that compared Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. Wilson also allegedly posted content inciting police officers to disobey their oath to uphold and enforce the law.

To investigate the complaint, the law society’s conduct committee held a private meeting between Wilson and a member of its board. This approach is typically used to assess a lawyer’s ethical obligations and provide guidance for future conduct. According to the document, Wilson expressed remorse and acknowledged the expectation for lawyers to encourage public respect for the administration of justice. The conduct committee ultimately decided to dismiss the complaint, considering Wilson’s candid and remorseful attitude.

The decision by the law society to dismiss the complaint has faced criticism. Warman described the outcome as “incomprehensible” and questioned the society’s ability to uphold professional conduct and govern its members. Wilson, on the other hand, stated that the society’s concern was solely focused on the specific words he used and that the complaint was ultimately dismissed.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which employed Wilson at the time of the complaint, did not provide a response to Radio-Canada’s inquiries. Despite the dismissal of the complaint, the controversy surrounding Wilson’s tweets and the law society’s decision has raised concerns about the professional conduct and accountability of lawyers in Canada.