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Steeve Charland testifies during his trial

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Last year, Steeve “The Artiss” Charland also testified at the State of Emergency Commission. (Archive photo)

  • Maude Ouellet (View profile)Maude Ouellet

Steeve “L'Artiss” Charland presented his story of the truckers' convoy in front of the Superior Court of Ontario. During his testimony, he insisted that he had acted within the limits permitted by the law.

Well frankly, I don't know why I'm here, Mr. Judge, said the man from Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, who became a leading figure in the protest movement against health measures during the pandemic

Steeve Charland faces charges of mischief and counseling to commit mischief. These actions would have taken place in early 2022, when the truckers' convoy paralyzed downtown Ottawa.

On Tuesday, the accused recounted his participation in the event chronologically, all punctuated by publications taken from social media.

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Steeve Charland and the Farfadaas had set up camp on Place des Festivals in Gatineau, during the truckers' convoy.

Steeve Charland notably returned to a video published on February 12, 2022, in which he rails against the City of Gatineau and the owner of the parking lot where he and the Farfadaas had established their camp.

The 1000 tanks that are coming will all block Gatineau, we hear him say, adding that he is doing his best to comply with municipal regulations.

On Tuesday, however, he clarified that this was not a threat. We tried to do him [the Gatineau police] a favor, he argued.

As for the amounts of money he distributed to truckers and other demonstrators, Steeve Charland presents them more as acts of charity. He said he first helped a trucker who had run out of gas and food and who had fallen ill.

The lawyer for Steeve Charland then returned to the invocation of the Emergency Measures Act on February 14, 2022. That day, Steeve Charland had ordered the demonstrators to hold on; a message he says he sent since, it was understood, the measure still had to be approved by the Senate.

If you had been told that [the demonstration] had become illegal, what would you have done? asked Mr. Nicholas St-Pierre of his client.

I would have left, replied Steeve Charland straight away.

The latter concluded his testimony by insisting that he had always demonstrated in a legal manner, although he tried to push the rules in place.

However, he conceded that the only time he went too far was when he and the Farfadaas blocked the Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine tunnel in Montreal in March 2021. This gesture also earned him around a hundred 'hours of community service.

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Steeve Charland will be cross-examined Thursday at the Ottawa courthouse. (File photo)

The Crown plans to cross-examine Steeve Charland on Thursday and Friday. For lawyer François Dulude, this will be an opportunity to demonstrate once again, according to him, the organization, help and encouragement that the accused provided during the truckers' convoy.

Three weeks ago, the Crown called two Gatineau police officers and an officer from the Ottawa Police Service. The rest of the evidence was essentially based on videos captured and published on social networks by Steeve Charland and his partner.

With information from Rémi Authier

  • Maude Ouellet (View profile)Maude OuelletFollow
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