An Ontario court has denied bail for Tamara Lich, one of the key organizers of the Freedom Convoy protest that took place in Ottawa’s downtown core opposing federal COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
An Ottawa court judge issued the decision on Feb. 22, after Lich said during a hearing that she would give up advocacy of the protest and return to Alberta.
“I cannot be reassured that if I release you into the community that you will not reoffend,'' Bourgeois said during the ruling.
“Your detention is necessary for the protection and safety of the public.'’
In addition to holding Lich in custody, Bourgeois ordered Lich to have no contact with other convoy organizers Benjamin Dichter, Christopher Barber, and Daniel Bulford.
Barber was arrested the same day as Lich and released on bail on Feb. 19. Bulford was arrested on Feb. 18 and released 12 hours later with no charges.
Meanwhile, the House of Commons voted on Feb. 21 in favour of the federal government’s use of measures under the Emergencies Act to respond to the protests.
The Senate is scheduled to start its own debate on the measures on Feb. 22.
On Feb. 14, the Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act to give authorities sweeping additional powers to clear out the protesters that had parked in Ottawa’s downtown core for three weeks, including the ability to compel towing companies to remove trucks from the city’s downtown core.
Several financial measures were also brought in to reduce funding for the protests, such as the broadening of anti-money laundering regulations to encompass crowdfunding platforms and digital currencies. Under the new measures, banks are also able to freeze the accounts of individuals and corporations involved in the protests without a court order.