The trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, two prominent organizers of the convoy protest in Ottawa, saw attempts by their defense lawyers to block eight local Ottawa witnesses from testifying. The trial revolves around criminal charges related to their role in a demonstration that blockaded city streets for weeks in opposition to COVID-19 public health measures.
The Crown plans to call five Ottawa residents as witnesses to provide insight into the events that unfolded during the protest. The witnesses are expected to testify about the blocked streets, the constant noise and fumes from trucks, public urination, and the inability to leave their homes.
Additionally, the Crown intends to call the owner of a women’s clothing boutique, employees from the National Arts Centre, and a public transit operator to further support their case. However, the Crown has decided not to call an employee from the Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel as originally planned.
Lich’s defense lawyer argued that the testimony of these witnesses would be irrelevant since they did not directly interact with Lich or Barber, and the organizers have not admitted to playing a role in the disruptions. However, the Crown maintained that the witnesses’ testimonies are crucial to show the impact of the protest on the community and justify the charges against Lich and Barber.
The trial seeks to uncover the extent of disruption, intimidation, and obstruction caused by the convoy protest. It aims to establish whether the protest was peaceful or not, as the Crown has alleged that it was far from peaceful. The case sheds light on the legal disputes surrounding the actions of the convoy organizers and their responsibility for the consequences of the protest.