OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) – On the 10th day of the trial of Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, an Ottawa city manager tasked with working with police to establish “emergency lanes” to quell protesters admitted that most of his observations were done from his office window.
On Tuesday, Kim Ayotte, who works as the general manager of emergency and protective services for the city of Ottawa, during examination by the Crown as its main witness for the day, said he only went for an occasional “walk” to see what was going on in downtown Ottawa.
The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, reported in its court update that Ayotte acknowledged his “observations of the convoy were limited to his office window and occasional walks.”
The Crown asked Ayotte “how often” the walks would take place. Lich’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, objected to the question, saying the proper question should have been, “When did you go on these walks?”
Ayotte was tasked with working with police to establish emergency lanes but could not give specifics as to what this meant as he did not have his notes on hand. He intended to rely only on his memories of the events, which happened nearly two years ago, while testifying in court Tuesday.
Greenspon told the court that there is only evidence of a single walk having taken place, as per the notes from the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), which was tasked with investigating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act (EA) to crush the Freedom Convoy in mid-February 2022.
The court learned that photos as well as evidence of Ayotte’s walks do exist, along with thousands of emails, but they have not been disclosed to the defense for Lich and Barber. Justice Heather Perkins-McVey upon hearing this ordered that all photos concerning Ayotte be produced before the defense could cross-examine him.
The court also learned that Ayotte said he observed some CCTV video feeds and drone footage of the protests, but as he did not have his notes that day in court because he said he left them in his office, he could not provide any details from video footage.
Lich and Barber’s defense objects to Crown wanting civilian witnesses to give testimony
On Tuesday, Greenspon objected to the relevance of having eight civilian Crown witnesses testify at the trial.
He told the court that the civilian witnesses’ observations of the Freedom Convoy protests did not include important details “such as who, where, or when,” the TDF noted.
According to Greenspon, the civilian witnesses were not able to identify one person linked to the Freedom Convoy or give any information about what was happening on the ground.
Greenspon observed that the Crown “failed to argue that excluding these witnesses would irreparably damage their case.” He also argued that due to the nature of the “charges against Lich and Barber,” the Crown must prove that mischief was not committed and that it was committed, “which created a contradiction,” the TDF pointed out.
The Crown is hoping to have the civilian witnesses testify, but a ruling has not been made by Justice Perkins-McVey. However, one is expected by the end of the week.
Lich and Barber are facing multiple charges from the 2022 protests, including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police for taking part in and organizing the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before she was granted bail.
During the ninth day of the trial on Monday, a Quebec police captain deployed to the “front line” of the protest admitted that he was able to break for lunch during the crackdown even though his orders to him came in “military style.”
The trial against Barber and Lich began September 5 and since Monday the Crown has only called four of its 22 witnesses. Greenspon has criticized the slow pace of the trial thus far.