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Ontario MPP Randy Hillier addresses crowd at 'No More Lockdown' rally at Queen's Park, Toronto, November 26, 2020. Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Prominent anti-lockdown politician Randy Hillier faces nine criminal charges in relation to the Freedom Convoy protest.

Hillier, an Independent Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in Ontario, surrendered to Ottawa Police on Monday morning after he said he was instructed to do so via phone call with police on Sunday. He has been outspoken against so-called COVID restrictions, including lockdowns and vaccine mandates, and supportive of the anti-COVID mandate Freedom Convoy protest that took place for three weeks in Ottawa’s downtown earlier this year.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Hillier’s charges are one count of assaulting a peace or public officer; two counts of obstructing or resisting a public officer; one count of obstructing or resisting someone aiding a public or peace officer; three counts of counseling an uncommitted indictable offense, two of them considered mischief; and two counts of mischief or obstructing property exceeding $5,000.

Hillier denied the assault allegation, stating that he only greeted people “with love and affection and embrace and handshakes,” adding, “So unless handshakes or warm embraces are now considered assault, I have no idea [why I am charged with assault].”

These are not the only charges Hillier has been hit with in relation to pro-freedom, anti-COVID mandate protests.

In April, Hillier was charged with a so-called violation of the province of Ontario’s COVID rules for helping organize a protest against the ineffective and harmful lockdown policies the province enacted multiple times during the course of the so-called pandemic.

Many Canadian conservative politicos took to social media to defend Hillier and slam Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the arrest of Hillier, implying the move was done merely to punish him for opposing the mainstream COVID agenda.

“Randy Hillier is an elected member of the Ont. legislature. Trudeau’s police are jailing him for supporting the truckers. Canada is no longer a free country. We’re only partly free. Hillier is a political prisoner. But because he opposed lockdowns, the media will cheer his arrest,” Rebel News frontman Ezra Levant posted to Twitter on Sunday.

“These are gestapo tactics. It’s absolutely crazy they’re going after an elected member of provincial parliament for supporting peaceful freedom protesters! The Trudeau/Ford gestapo tactics must not prevail. This is really the silencing their political opposition,” added Campaign Life Coalition Director of Political Operations Jack Fonseca.

Despite the non-violent nature of the Freedom Convoy, protesters and their supporters were labeled a “small, fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” while also being accused of being “insurrectionists” sympathetic to Nazism.

This widespread criticism by Trudeau, the political establishment, and mainstream journalism culminated in Trudeau’s invocation of the never-before-used Emergencies Act, allowing the deployment of the national police force to physically remove protesters and instruct financial institutions to freeze private bank accounts without a court order.

Since then, multiple assertions made by the media and government have been rescinded, and a special parliamentary committee has been convened to investigate whether the federal government was justified in invoking the EA.

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