Marco Van Huigenbos responds to Danielle Smith: 'Coutts was not an ideological protest'

Van Huigenbos said Smith ran for the premiership on 'post-COVID anger,' and that her comments on his conviction alongside Van Herk and Janzen were 'a non-answer' and 'deflection.'

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Marco Van Huigenbos, one of the Coutts Three defendants who was found guilty of committing mischief over $5,000 last week by a jury, spoke with Rebel News on Monday about Premier Danielle Smith's recent remarks regarding his conviction in Lethbridge, AB.

Last week, Smith said:

"The legislation that we have in place for the Critical Infrastructure Act, it doesn't matter what your ideology is, or what your cause is, or what your political perspective is. You simply cannot block critical infrastructure.

I don't support Extinction Rebellion gluing themselves to the bridges, I don't support Days of Action that shut down our railway lines, and I don't support inconveniencing neighbors and farmers and those who want to get goods transported by shutting down borders and highways, and I think that this is a caution. There's a way to be able to make your point known, there's a way to be able to advocate, but you can't block critical infrastructure."

Van Huigenbos replied to Smith's comments, noting that he and the other two men convicted of mischief over $5,000 in his trial – Alex Van Herk and George Janzen – were not charged with crimes related to Alberta's Critical Infrastructure Act.

He said Smith ran for the premiership on "post-COVID anger," and that her comments on his conviction alongside Van Herk and Janzen were "a non-answer" and "deflection."

He stated:

"Unfortunately, the premier completely deflected. I feel that she wanted to answer in a certain way, and she might have attempted to, but very quickly she deflected. She provided a non-answer, which referred to the Critical Infrastructure Act.

We were charged with mischief over $5,000 which has a much more significant impact. it's possibly a 10-year jail sentence, max. Her comments, overall … were a complete deflection, inappropriate to some degree and a very big disappointment.

I understand that Danielle Smith cannot interfere in the judicial process. Nobody has asked her to interfere in that. She hasn't interfered in that. Her comment on [completed proceedings] would not be considered interference. She was asked for a comment in relation to the conviction of three individuals, and one of those individuals [is someone] she knows by name.

So it became a little personal for me, but what I don't understand is, she would have been better off with no comment than with the comments she did provide. She referred to legislation that had nothing to do with our prosecution. She brought up the context of blocking critical infrastructure in relation to ideology.

Coutts was not an ideological protest. Coutts was a protest of individuals – Albertans, Canadians, white-collar, blue-collar folk from all corners, from all backgrounds, from all religious backgrounds, ethnicities, etcetera – they were there for one reason. They were there in relation to the messed up ideology of government. They were there because government had lost their freaking mind.

So, for the premier, who ran on this post-COVID anger, to answer in this manner it's frankly unacceptable and disgusting."

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