Convoy organizer Tamara Lich to appeal bail conditions: lawyers

The Canadian Press

Published Friday, March 25, 2022 3:18PM EDT

Last Updated Friday, March 25, 2022 4:30PM EDT

OTTAWA – Tamara Lich is appealing her bail conditions as she awaits trial on charges related to her role in organizing a protest that saw large trucks create gridlock in downtown Ottawa for several weeks.

Diane Magas, a lawyer representing Lich, filed an appeal of the bail conditions, including restrictions on use of social media, in an Ontario court.

The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, which is helping with the challenge, says the conditions violate her guarantees of free expression, association and peaceful assembly.

In February, the organization set up and funded a network of criminal defense lawyers helping Lich and others related to the trucker convoy, said John Carpay, the centre’s president.

The court-ordered ban on Lich’s expression on social media, including comment on COVID-19 health measures, lacks a “rational connection” to a risk to public safety or committing further offences, the center says.

Lich was arrested Feb. 17 and initially denied bail, but that decision was reversed March 7 following a review.

She faces charges including mischief and counseling to commit mischief, and was notified Thursday that she now faces additional charges, including counseling to commit intimidation.

Pat King, another central figure associated with the blockades, was also notified that he faces additional charges as he appeared before an Ontario court on Thursday.

King connected virtually to the hearing from an Ottawa jail, where he has been in custody since being arrested and denied bail last month.

The new charges King faces include intimidation, counseling intimidation, obstructing police and disobeying a court order.

He was originally charged with mischief, counseling to commit mischief, counseling to obstruct police and counseling to disobey a court order.

Lawyer Cal Rosemond said in court that he expected to officially represent King in the near future, and cited “extreme difficulties” in being able to reach King at the detention centre.

King and Tyson George Billings, also arrested in February, are now listed as co-accused.

Billings, nicknamed “Freedom George” by fellow demonstrators in Ottawa, livestreamed his participation in the protests over several days.

He was initially charged with mischief, counseling to commit mischief, counseling to disobey a court order, obstructing police and counseling to obstruct police.

Billings had been expected to appear virtually in court along with King to face the joint information, but was rescheduled for the following day. However, he did not appear in short Friday.

Both King and Billings are expected to appear again in court on April 4.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2022.

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