Ontario MPP Faces 9 Charges Related to Freedom Convoy Protests

By Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
March 28, 2022 Updated: March 28, 2022

Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier is facing nine charges stemming from the Freedom Convoy protests in the nation’s capital last month.

Arriving at the Ottawa police’s headquarters this morning, Hillier told reporters police called him on March 27 to turn himself in over charges related to the truckers’ protests in downtown Ottawa.

“We know [the charges] are all related to my opposing views that I expressed very often at the Freedom convoy, at the truckers’ protest, and differing and dissenting views are now apparently criminal,” he said. “So that’s a disturbing trend.”

Dubbed the Freedom Convoy, the large convoy of trucks arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 29 to stage a protest against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers travelling between Canada and the United States. It turned into a larger movement after many Canadians from across the country began joining in or voicing their support for ending various COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

In a press release on March 28, the Ottawa police confirmed the charges laid against Hillier.

Hillier is facing nine charges, with two counts each of obstructing a public officer, counselling mischief and mischief/obstructing property over $5,000. He is also charged with obstructing a person aiding a peace officer, assaulting a peace or public officer and counselling an uncommitted indictable offence.

“In February, Ottawa Police received multiple complaints about social media posts and other activities of [Hillier] as part of the ongoing illegal protests,” the police said.

“An investigation was commenced and information gathered by a police task force initiated to investigate criminal behaviour during the protest. That task force continues its work.”

Hillier, who is expected to appear in court on March 28, said he was “quite shocked” to be deemed a “danger to society” given he was only exercising his right to free speech in a democracy.

Hillier referenced recent comments from European parliamentarians (MEPs) who criticized the Canadian government for its handling of Freedom Convoy protestors, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act in response to the protests on Feb. 14.

“We’ve heard it from European members of Parliament, expressed a lot over the last period of time, how our democracy is not functioning, it’s not respecting civil and human rights,” he said. “And I hope more Canadians, more legislators speak up to this travesty that is happening to our country.

On March 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the European Parliament, saying that a growing populist movement representing “extreme political views” is threatening democracy. He was rebuked by several MEPs over what they said were his human rights violations against Freedom Convoy participants.

“A prime minister who openly admires the Chinese ‘basic dictatorship,’ who tramples on fundamental rights by persecuting and criminalizing his own citizens as terrorists, just because they dared to stand up to his perverted concept of democracy, should not be allowed to speak in this house at all,” said German MEP Christine Anderson.

Fellow German MEP Bernhard Zimniok said Trudeau has been “trampling on democratic rights” and “cracking down on people who protested against disproportionate [COVID-19] measures.”

“Clearly the values of democracy are being despised by this individual—let us not give someone like this any speaking time in this house of democracy,” he said.

When asked by a reporter about allegations that Hillier assaulted a police officer, Hillier denied the allegation, saying he has “no idea” how the charge came about.

“I had thousands of interactions. I only ever greeted people in—with love and affection and embraces and handshakes,” he said. “Unless handshakes or warm embraces are now considered assault, I have no idea.”

Chelsea Hillier, daughter of the MPP, took to Twitter on March 27, saying the charges against her father signal a concerning trend for democracy in Canada.

“The thing that makes me pause most is that we are now celebrating the persecution of politicians who do not uphold the narrative,” she said.

The MPP told reporters that the country is divided into “two solitudes” now.

“One solitude that believes in freedom and freedom of expression, and another solitude that rejects anything other than the mainstream narrative as an acceptable expression,” he said.

“I wish I had been able to put forth greater arguments to demonstrate the dark path that our country entered into in March 2020,” he added.

“I tried to alert people to the danger and tyranny that was coming when we surrendered our freedoms, and that darkness is getting darker.”

The Canadian Press and Noé Chartier contributed to this report.

Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.