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Class action lawsuit against truckers’ convoy organizers moves forward

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A judge authorizes a $300 million class action against the organizers of the truckers' convoy. (Archive photo)


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Un $300 million class action lawsuit filed against protesters, donors and truckers' convoy organizers on behalf of downtown Ottawa residents and business owners can move forward. A judge denied the defendants' request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Last December, Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod heard arguments from both sides. The case pitted the right of individuals to use their property and public highways against the right of protesters to voice their grievances using pressure tactics against the government.

The lawyers representing the interests of the truckers' convoy, including organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, had argued in particular that political expression is fundamental to society, that their use of free speech was in the public interest and that the plaintiffs had not met the threshold required to pursue legal action.

In his decision released Tuesday, however, Judge MacLeod sided with residents and business owners and denied the motion to dismiss the class action, writing in his ruling that the plaintiffs had a meritorious case.

There is evidence that some plaintiffs were subjected to what they claim were excessive amounts extremes of noise, horns, incessant diesel fumes and other pollution, street blockades and intimidation. There is evidence that the plaintiffs had difficulty accessing their properties and that [the merchants'] business was disrupted, the decision states.

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The convoy of truckers in Ottawa, the morning of Sunday February 6

The action includes several thousand potential plaintiffs who reside in an area stretching from west of Bronson Avenue to Booth Street, to include the LeBreton Flats buildings. In the ByWard Market, the zone includes the area located north of Saint-Patrick Street, up to Boteler Street.

While acknowledging that the defendants deny having a common intention to block streets or put pressure on the government by causing hardship for residents, the judge wrote that&#x27 ;one could conclude that disrupting daily life in the city center was what the organizers and participants of the truckers' convoy were looking for.

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Paul Champ, l&# x27;lawyer who brings the class action on behalf of residents and merchants of the capital, said he was satisfied with the result in a press release.

We remain committed to achieving justice and redress for the residents of downtown Ottawa.

The truckers' convoy and its supporters paralyzed the city center for several weeks in early 2022, demanding the abandonment of health measures linked to COVID-19.

With information from David Fraser of CBC News< /p>

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116