OTTAWA — "Freedom Convoy" organizer Tamara Lich was denied bail and will remain in custody after a justice of the peace ruled she breached a condition of her original release.
Lich is facing multiple charges of mischief and obstructing police for her role in the massive protest that gridlocked downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks last winter.
She is now facing an additional charge of breaching a bail condition after sitting with fellow protest leader Tom Marazzo at an awards gala in Toronto last month.
Lich's original bail ordered her to have no contact with several other protest leaders, including Marazzo, without the presence of her lawyer.
Police sought a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Lich for the alleged breach of her bail conditions and she was arrested last week in Medicine Hat, Alta., where she lives.
The onus was on Lich to prove appearing with Marazzo at the Toronto event did not breach the no-contact order. Justice of the peace Paul Harris said Friday that Lich did not prove that.
He has ordered her to remain in jail pending her trial, with her next court date set for July 14.
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Her lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said outside the courthouse he will bring an application for a bail review to the Ontario Superior Court.
He said she is “obviously disappointed” with the result and eager to regain her freedom.
Greenspon had argued that Lich didn’t violate the bail condition because her lawyers were present at the gala where she was seen with Marazzo.
She accepted an award at the event for organizing the convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions and the federal Liberal government.
The lawyer also said Lich and Marazzo only had a brief interaction.
Both were key spokespeople of the winter convoy protest. Marazzo is also a leader of a group calling itself Veterans 4 Freedom, which staged several rallies in Ottawa over the Canada Day weekend.
Supporters of Lich gathered outside the courthouse on Friday waving Canadian flags. Several of her supporters were in the courtroom as the decision was read, with one woman openly weeping as the bail was denied.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Just one of those things, I
Just one of those things, I guess. I mean, who knew that if you want to stay out on bail, it's a bad idea to blatantly violate your bail terms on Facebook? Could have happened to anybody . . . who didn't think the law applied to them.