“Freedom Convoy” organizer Tamara Lich appeared in court Wednesday seeking a review of her bail, which was denied last week. She appeared in shackles around her feet, which “made it difficult for her to move.”
Rebel News reported last week that the presiding judge, Julie Bourgeois, denied Lich bail last week because she believed there was a risk that the protest organizer would continue her illegal actions.
Lich has argued that Bourgeois ruled against her receiving bail because of political bias. As highlighted by the Rebel News report, Bourgeois was a Liberal Party candidate in 2011, where she ran for office in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.
The government has responded by stating that the same judge had also produced bail for Chris Barber, another organizer of the protests in Ottawa.
Lich currently faces a charge of mischief which could amount to 10 years in prison.
In Lich’s affidavit, she argued that her Indigenous identity was not accounted for during her bail hearing, arguing that she is a “card-carrying member of the Metis Nation of Alberta.”
Lich’s lawyers stated that the bail hearings must consider the Gladue principles, which are defined as “a way for the judge to consider the unique circumstances (experiences) of Indigenous peoples.”
“These unique circumstances include the challenges of colonization you, your family, and community faced and resisted as Indigenous people, and continue to affect you today. These challenges include racism, loss of language, removal from land, Indian residential schools, and foster care. These challenges are called Gladue factors.”
“... Gladue principles try to address these failures and make sure judges don’t repeat the same mistakes that add to discrimination,” the principles state. “Judges must consider Gladue factors when they make decisions about you. Judges must consider options other than jail to help you address the challenges you face. For example, you might participate in a restorative justice program to help you work with those your crime affected and repair the harm done.”
In prior hearings with Indigenous defendants, Canadian courts have applied the principles throughout every aspect of the trial.