Rouleau Commission: Tamara Lich's testimony undermined in cross-examination | Commission of Inquiry into the State of Emergency

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Roller Commission: Tamara Lich's testimony undermined in cross-examination | Commission of Inquiry into the State of

Lawyers question the “selective memory” of one of the main organizers of the convoy.

Tamara Lich is known for her leading role in planning the so-called “freedom convoy”.

Tamara Lich's claim that the truckers and other protesters who occupied downtown Ottawa last winter were never formally informed that their gathering was illegal and that x27;they had to put an end to it is challenged at the Commission of Inquiry into the State of Emergency.

In cross-examination on Friday, the prosecutor of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) David Migicovsky noted that in a meeting held on February 16, the police liaison teams (PLTs) advised rally leaders, including Ms. Lich, to leave and pass the message on to others.

In support of his claim, Mr. Migicovsky cited an ELP logbook that the truckers' convoy organizers were upset by the news and that Ms. Lich was crying. All those present at the meeting understood the message, can we read in the document.

Asked about the encounter, Ms. Lich said that while she remembered breaking down in tears, she did not remember being told by the police that the protesters had to leave the scene.

It was more of a suggestion, she said, which caused Ms. Migicovsky to say that the witness had a selective memory – a statement to which she was #x27;immediately opposed the lawyer for the organizers of the convoy, Mr. Brendan Miller.

The Trudeau government invoked the Emergencies Act on February 14, 2022 to end a rally of truckers and other protesters opposing COVID-19 health measures that paralyzed downtown Ottawa from Saturday, January 29 to Sunday, February 20.

This law – adopted in 1988 to succeed the War Measures Act – provides in particular that a public inquiry must a fortiori consider the circumstances that led the authorities to take such a decision.

Prosecutor Paul Champ, of the Ottawa Residents and Businesses Coalition, engaged in a similar exercise on Friday, asking Ms. Lich to explain how she was able to ignore the many signs that the rally had turned illegal.

The injunction over the horns, the local state of emergency, the provincial state of emergency, funds frozen by GoFundMe on the pretext that they could be used for fund illegal activities… Weren't these messages that it might be time to leave?, asked Champ.

We also had a message to pass, answered the main interested party, who faces numerous criminal charges in connection with the events of last winter.

Ms. Lich is not the only convoy organizer to claim that leaders of the movement were never informed by the authorities that the rally had become illegal in the eyes of the law. Other witnesses have claimed the same over the past few days.

Last week, ex-SPO chief Peter Sloly also admitted that protesters had not been notified directly, but that they should have understood, from the media coverage, that their action contravened the laws and regulations in force.

Maggie Hope and Chris Deering recounted their arrest by the police before the Rouleau commission, responsible for making shed light on the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act to shut down the “freedom convoy” last February.

Arrested by police in the wake of the downtown Ottawa occupation, Chris Deering and Maggie Hope Braun also told the commission on Friday that they had not been notified. at the time of their arrest that the demonstration they were taking part in was illegal and that they had no right to take part in it.

Both witnesses recounted having been mistreated by the police, while admitting that they had not lodged a complaint with the ethics authorities concerned.

These testimonies were followed on Friday by that of the veteran and founder of the far-right group Diagolon, Jeremy MacKenzie, who participated in the organization of the freedom convoy. Mr. MacKenzie presented his evidence via video link, as he is currently being held in a Saskatchewan jail.

Arrested on September 28, Mr. MacKenzie is charged with assault, pointing a weapon at an individual, mischief and careless handling of a restricted weapon. These counts relate to events in November 2021 in Saskatchewan, not the occupation of Ottawa.

The veteran and founder of the extremist group Diagolon, Jeremy MacKenzie, testified by videoconference to the Rouleau commission, since he is being held in a prison in Saskatchewan.

Before the commission, the Diagolon founder was notably asked to explain his and his group's ties to those arrested at the Coutts, Alta., blockade, including Chris Lysack, charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Mr. Lysack allegedly wanted, along with others, to attempt the lives of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers.

Weapons, ammunition and military equipment, among other things, were seized in connection with this case. On bullet-proof vests, we can notably see the flag of the Diagolon group, which consists of a white diagonal on a black background. Mr. MacKenzie, who admitted to having met Mr. Lysack in person twice, however, maintained that it is possible that the RCMP placed the flag on the jackets themselves.

I'm skeptical of the RCMP in particular, but law enforcement in Canada, who have a history of doing this sort of thing, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that something as easy to reproduce [as the Diagolon flag] can be "planted" [by the authorities], supported the veteran.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized long guns, body armor, handguns, a large quantity of ammunition and a machete, raided three protester trailers in Coutts, Alberta.

Mr. MacKenzie also said that he does not necessarily control his group members and that he has never encouraged anyone to bring weapons to protests or to be violent. On the contrary, he called for calm on several occasions, he argued, videos in support. However, he still had to explain himself about other videos, published online, in which his remarks amounted to a kind of call to arms.

Throughout his testimony, Jeremy MacKenzie endeavored to minimize the extremist character of Diagolon, perceived by the RCMP as a network of armed militiamen, prepared for violence and considering that a civil war is necessary, according to evidence presented to the commission.

Mr. MacKenzie, who uses the moniker Raging Dissident to post on social media, believes her group has been portrayed that way largely by ill-intentioned mass media actors. For him, it is certainly not anything resembling a militia.

Jeremy MacKenzie, who describes himself as a podcast host and comedian, believes it's more of a satirical group, spun off from his imagination, which eventually evolved into an online community. , mostly made up of veterans or ex-police officers – since his message resonates with this type of people, he argued.

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Since Tuesday, a dozen leaders of the so-called freedom convoy have marched before Judge Paul Rouleau and have described in particular the internal crises which arose at the height of the events, a bit like those which divided the various bodies police on the methods to be used to end the occupation.

Lead lawyer for the organizers of the rally, Keith Wilson, also revealed on Wednesday that his clients had benefited police leaks, leading the OPS to open an investigation this week.

A former Justin Trudeau security guard may have leaked information to protesters about the prime minister's schedule, we learned Friday morning. And his profile would be similar to that of Daniel Bulford, according to CBC, the English network of Radio-Canada. Mr. Bulford, who resigned from the RCMP due to the vaccination requirement, is the last witness to be heard on Friday.

In his statement prior to the commission's public hearings, Mr. Bulford categorically denied being behind the leak.

“I have never divulged any information to anyone obtained in the course of my duties as a member of the RCMP and the response team ;emergency.

—Daniel Bulford, Ex-RCMP Constable, 'Freedom Convoy' Organizer

Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer opposed to health restrictions, testifies before the Roll commission. He resigned because of the vaccination obligation.

During his testimony, Mr. Bulford, who was responsible for the security of the convoy because of his experience as a highly trained RCMP officer, also maintained that he had been unaware, at the time of the occupation, that Privileged police information was leaked to convoy leaders, as disclosed by Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Bulford was also widely questioned about the multitude of actual and potential threats that circulated, as well as altercations that took place during the occupation. Threats and altercations which he generally denied existed or which he attributed to people outside the convoy, or even to counter-demonstrators.

To date , the commission heard from 31 of the 70 subpoenaed witnesses, including former Ottawa mayor Jim Watson. Ontario Premier Doug Ford also received a subpoena, which he contests. His lawyers and those of the commission made their case in federal court on Tuesday. A judge took the case under advisement.

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