Tamara Lich to Remain in Jail While Awaiting Bail Review Set for Late July

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
July 14, 2022 Updated: July 14, 2022

A bail review will be held on July 25 for Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich who is awaiting trial in an Ontario court on allegations of breaching her bail terms, her lawyer said.

The bail review for Lich’s case was scheduled at the Ontario Superior Court at the earliest available date, according to defence lawyer Eric Granger, who appeared briefly via teleconference before the Ontario Court of Justice on July 14.

Lich was originally scheduled to appear for trial at the Ontario court today over allegations of having breached her bail terms set previously, after being denied bail in her last court appearance on July 8.

Her case in the Ontario Court of Justice is adjourned until after the bail review on July 28.

Lich has remained in custody since she was rearrested on June 27.

Arrest, Bail

A key Freedom Convoy organizer, Lich was first arrested on Feb. 17 and charged with mischief, counselling to commit mischief, and obstructing police, among other charges.

The Freedom Convoy protest started as a demonstration against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed on cross-border truck drivers, which came into effect in January. The protest soon expanded into a larger movement with many Canadians joining in to protest various COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

The protests in Ottawa lasted for around three weeks, ending after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 and police cleared the demonstration in an escalated operation over a few days.

After initially being denied bail on Feb. 22, and having spent 19 days in custody, Lich was released on bail on March 7 under a number of conditions, including having no contact with fellow convoy organizers and not setting foot in Ontario.

In April, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms selected Lich as the winner of the 2022 George Jonas Freedom Award and invited her to accept the award in a ceremony in Toronto on June 16.

Crown prosecutors said in May that by agreeing to attend the award ceremony, Lich had violated her bail terms and should be sent back to jail to await trial.

On May 25, Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips ruled that Lich didn’t breach her bail conditions, saying that the “courts are not a thought police.”

Rearrest, Denied Bail

On June 27, just days after attending the award ceremony in Toronto, Lich was rearrested in her hometown of Medicine Hat, Alberta, under a Canada-wide warrant, and was transferred back to Ottawa to attend a bail hearing.

During a court hearing on July 5, Crown prosecutors alleged that Lich had violated her bail conditions when she interacted with fellow convoy organizer Tom Marazzo at the June 16 award ceremony.

The Crown presented a photograph of Lich and Marazzo at the event and a video recording as evidence. The video allegedly shows Lich giving a speech at the event, and then sitting at a table where Marazzo and others are seated. In the video, Lich was seen approaching Marazzo and the two interacted briefly.

At that hearing, defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon said a brief congratulatory exchange after winning an award wouldn’t lead to illegal activity and isn’t a breach of bail conditions. The court also heard testimony that lawyers who were present at the event approved the picture taken of Lich and Marazzo. Greenspon said Lich’s bail terms specified that there should be no communication with convoy organizers except in the presence of counsel.

After spending days reviewing the case, Justice of the Peace Paul Harris said on July 8 that he was siding with the Crown, saying that Lich chose to sit at a table with Marrazo and that it is “absolutely ridiculous” for her to believe she could justify interacting with Marazzo by having her lawyers in the room.

Harris said Lich still poses a risk to public safety, as some Freedom Convoy protests continue to be held in Ottawa from time to time.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.