August 6, 2022

‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich refused bail and was held pending trial

By Erika Ibrahim in Ottawa

‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich has been denied bail and will remain in custody after a justice of the peace ruled she breached a condition of her initial release.

Lich faces multiple charges of mischief and obstructing police for his role in the massive protest that paralyzed downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks last winter.

She now faces 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 initial bail ordered him to have no contact with several other protest leaders, including Marazzo, without his lawyer present.

Police have requested 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 that his appearance with Marazzo at the Toronto event did not violate the no contact order. Justice of the Peace Paul Harris said Friday that Lich has not proven that.

He ordered him to remain in prison pending trial, with his next court date set for July 14.

His lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said outside the courthouse that he will apply for a bail review in Ontario Superior Court.

He said she was “obviously disappointed” with the outcome and eager to regain her freedom.

Greenspon had argued that Lich had not breached 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 attorney also said Lich and Marazzo only had a brief interaction.

Both were key spokespersons for the winter convoy protest. Marazzo is also the leader of a group calling itself Veterans 4 Freedom, which held several rallies in Ottawa over the Canada Day weekend.

Lich supporters gathered outside the courthouse on Friday waving Canadian flags. Several of his supporters were in the courtroom as the decision was read, with one woman openly crying when bail was denied.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 8, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of Meta and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.