Judge Grants 10-Day Injunction to Stop Truckers From Honking at Ottawa Protest

Judge Grants 10-Day Injunction to Stop Truckers From Honking at Ottawa Protest
Trucks are blocked by police barricades as a rally against COVID-19 restrictions, which began as a cross-country convoy protesting a federal vaccine mandate for truckers continues in Ottawa on Feb. 1, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Patrick Doyle)
Andrew Chen

An Ontario court has granted a 10-day injunction to stop truckers participating in the Freedom Convoy in downtown Ottawa from honking their horns.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean, who granted the injunction on Feb. 7, said the ruling is temporary because he needs to hear more evidence, and a “myriad of people” may still wish to come before the court to be heard.

The request for an injunction came from a proposed class-action lawsuit filed on Feb. 4 against convoy organizers by lawyer Paul Champ on behalf of his client Zexi Li, a 21-year-old Ottawa resident, who said the honking of horns has caused “unbearable torment” for her and other residents living closest to the protests.

The hearing has adjourned for the day and the court is slated to hear more evidence on how the injunction will be enforced.

The lawsuit names four Freedom Convoy organizers—Chris Barber, Benjamin Dichter, Tamara Lich, and Patrick King—and up to 60 big rig drivers with unknown names.

Keith Wilson, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom (JCCF) representing three of the respondents in the case, had told McLean that the ruling on the injunction would carry national importance.

Earlier in the day, the JCCF had issued a statement saying court filings in the case will reveal “a more realistic picture” of the protest than what the lawsuit claims.

“A more realistic picture of what is happening in Ottawa will soon be revealed by sworn affidavits filed in this court application,” JCCF said in a press release on the morning of Feb. 7.

The Freedom Convoy has been working closely with the Ottawa Police Service, the RCMP, and the Parliamentary Protective Service.”

Convoy leaders have asked all truckers to refrain from honking their horns between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. after receiving a complaint from a local resident on Feb. 1, one of the witnesses in the court action has also stated under oath.

“My primary concern is individuals or groups with potential to deliberately instigate conflict with the Freedom Convoy movement and to discredit the Freedom Convoy,” the unnamed witness said in the affidavit.

The Canadian Press contributed to this article