Two of the main Freedom Convoy organizers, Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, are expected to face trial in September 2023 for charges related to the protest in downtown Ottawa earlier this year.
The pair have been co-accused of mischief, obstructing police, and counselling to commit mischief, among others. Their trial is expected to start at the beginning of September next year and last about 16 days.
The trucker protest began in late January, initially to call for an end to the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed on cross-border truck drivers. It quickly evolved into a national movement that called for the dropping of other pandemic-related restrictions.
The protests ended after the Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, giving the police special powers to remove the protesters, including to compel towing companies to remove the convoy’s vehicles parked in the downtown area.
Police, wielding batons and pepper spray, quashed the demonstrators in escalated operations over the weekend after the act was invoked. Lich and Barber were both arrested on Feb. 17, before hundreds of police officers in tactical gear moved in to remove the protesters from the streets around Parliament Hill.
Lich and Barber have been released on bail with strict instructions not to communicate with each other or with other convoy organizers unless under the supervision of their lawyers.
The Canadian Press contributed to this report.