OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — The trial for Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber is now on a scheduled break and will resume on October 11.
Thus far, the trial has proceeded very slowly, with only four out of 22 Crown witnesses called much to the dismay of the defense who is demanding a sit down with the judge over the delays.
At this point, as per the original trial schedule which only allotted 16 hearing days, the trial should have been finishing. As it stands now, the court is looking at whether to extend the trial and if so, for how long.
Lich’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon has requested from Justice Heather Perkins-McVey, who is overseeing the trial, that the Crown disclose what witnesses are being called forth each day, along with the evidence they are bringing, to speed things up.
“My request to her honour was to have a check-in date so that the kinds of things that have been happening don’t reoccur and in order to ensure that the trial does eventually get to an end,” Greenspon told reporters outside of the court last Friday.
Perkins-McVey has agreed to meet with lawyers on September 29 to discuss the matter.
Last year, lawyers for both sides agreed that 16 days would be a reasonable amount of time to have a fair case. However, thus far, the Crown, as noted by Greenspon, has slowed the pace of the trial to a crawl while attempting to introduce hundreds of pages of social media posts as evidence.
The trial against Freedom Convoy leaders Chris Barber and Lich began September 5 and was expected to initially include only 16 sitting days.
However, on the fifth day of court proceedings, Perkins-McVey first allotted two more weeks for court proceedings to take place, due to the Crown wanting to include a total of nine witnesses it says will give “observational testimony” to try and bolster its case against Lich and Barber.
Greenspon about a week later criticized the slow pace of the trial, saying, “The way this trial’s going, I don’t think two weeks is even going to be enough.”
“At some point, we have to sit down – and I assume that’s going to happen Monday – and realistically see… how long it’s going to take for the Crown to get its evidence in.”
On the 13th day of the trial held last Friday, a Crown witness admitted that city truck idling bylaws were changed mid-protest to lower the temperature a truck was allowed to idle its engine in an attempt to “freeze” out the truckers.
The court heard on the 12th day of the trial that tuckers agreed to move their rigs from downtown Ottawa only minutes after being asked to do so by the former chief of staff to the city’s mayor and after officials realized they were not a threat.
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.
In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government enacted the Emergencies Act in mid-February, leading to Lich’s arrest two days later, on February 17.