The trial of two Freedom Convoy organizers enters Day 25 in Ottawa, as Tamara Lich and co-accused Chris Barber contest several non-violent charges against their person.
In February 2022, the Convoy demonstrations drew thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to oppose the draconian public health mandates imposed by the federal government and provinces.
According to the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), the weeks-long protest in front of Parliament Hill was rooted in a "loss of faith in government" and "economic hardship" caused by their response to the COVID pandemic.
Commissioner Paul Rouleau acknowledged a "diversity" of views among the protestors, of which some supposedly desired to commit "dangerous acts," including an 'occupation' of the nation’s capital, and several border blockades at the time.
Among its chief advocates include Lich and Barber, who face charges of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief, and intimidation. The former has spent 49 days in prison as of writing.
While the Commissioner considered the Emergencies Act an "appropriate" and "effective" deterrent to the Convoy protests, he admitted that other "reasonable and informed people" could reach different conclusions on invoking the Act.
Rouleau would openly criticized the feds for not adequately preparing for the Freedom Convoy, which could have avoided the measures taken under the Emergencies Act, he said.
It is not a "tool of convenience" but a "tool of last resort," added Rouleau.
Follow along with updates from Robert Kraychik below: