Pat King, one of the leaders of the “Freedom Convoy” demonstration in Ottawa, was refused bail.
In his decision, Justice of the Peace Andrew Seymour said the evidence of King’s participation and leadership role in the protest was “overwhelming”, calling his alleged offenses “an attack on the rule of law”.
King, 44, was one of the most visible leaders of the three-week occupation. He faces charges of mischief, counseling to commit mischief, counseling to commit the offense of disobeying a court order and counseling to obstruct police.
He was arrested last Friday in Ottawa, which he captured on a Facebook live stream, and has been in custody ever since.
Seymour said he believed there was a strong likelihood that King would commit offenses similar to those he is charged with if released.
Seymour called the evidence of King’s leadership and participation in the convoy “overwhelming”, citing his social media videos before and during the occupation.
“This evidence paints a picture of an individual who clearly intends to continue his protests and who is indifferent to the consequences,” he said.
He also questioned the credibility of King’s proposed bond, Kerry Komix, who met King four weeks ago when he was accompanying him to Ottawa for the protest. Komix pledged $50,000 to secure King’s bail, saying he would live in a spare bedroom in his Alberta home and wear an electronic tracking bracelet.
But Seymour noted that King did not accept any financial risk if he violated his terms.
In a thorough 15-page decision, Seymour also laid out the impact of the convoy protests on downtown residents, saying they had caused “significant distress” and calling the occupation of downtown Ottawa of “unprecedented in the history of Canada”.
“The impact of what can only be described as an occupation has been significant and widespread,” he said. “It has shaken the confidence of Ottawans and Canadians in institutions such as government and the police to protect them. The alleged violations are extremely serious.
“In short, this is a damning case.”
King is due back in court on March 18. He was also banned from communicating with other convoy organizers, including Chris Barber and Tamara Lich.
Lich was denied bail on Tuesday by a judge in an Ontario court. She remains in custody.
Earlier on Friday, the Crown requested a reopening of the bail hearing to present new evidence regarding King’s alleged purchase of a handgun while out on bail for a previous charge in 2016 .
However, Seymour denied that request, saying the potential unfairness and delay that would result from reopening the hearing outweighed the potential value of the material.
You can read Justice of the Peace Seymour’s full decision below.