Ottawa “Freedom Convoy” protest organizer Tamara Lich has been denied bail after spending almost a week in jail. Lich, who was charged last Thursday with counselling to commit mischief in connection with the Ottawa protesters, was denied bail Tuesday morning. She is one of the leading organizers behind the protests against Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa’s downtown core.
Lich, a native Albertan who began the now-defunct GoFundMe campaign that raised over $10 million to support the protest in Ottawa, was arrested and charged last Thursday.
Ahead of her arrest, Lich told journalists she was not concerned with being arrested, and didn’t think the protest was illegal. She also said that her bank account was frozen.
On Tuesday, an Ontario court judge issued the decision in Ottawa, saying she believed there was a substantial chance Lich would reoffend if released.
Ontario Court Justice Julie Bourgeois said that the effect of the convoy’s protest was immense and she felt that Lich was obstinate and dangerous in her responses to the court during bail hearing last Saturday, despite promising to give up her advocacy of the protest and return to Alberta.
“I cannot be reassured that if I release you into the community that you will not reoffend,” Bourgeois said. “Your detention is necessary for the protection and safety of the public.”
Bourgeois is a former liberal candidate in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.
In addition to keeping Lich in custody, Bourgeois ordered Lich to have no contact with Pat King, Benjamin Dichter, Christopher Barber, and Daniel Bulford — other organizers and leading voices tied to the “Freedom Convoy” protest.
Having been denied bail, Lich is expected to be held until trial.
Barber was arrested on the same day as Lich, but was released on bail on Saturday. King was arrested Friday and faces charges of mischief, counseling to commit mischief, counseling to commit the offence of disobeying a court order, and counseling to obstruct police.
The judge rendered Lich’s bail decision a day after the Canadian House of Commons voted to support the government’s use of the measures under the Emergencies Act, which Prime Minister Trudeau invoked last week in response to the then-ongoing protests.