A judge has denied a second request by former Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, who is facing charges related to his participation in the “Freedom Convoy” protest, to move his jury trial away from Ottawa.
Hillier's lawyer David Anber had argued that "widespread bias" against the 2022 protest, which disrupted the capital city's downtown core for three weeks could taint the perspectives of jurors.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne London-Weinstein says that although there is a probability of prejudice against Hillier in Ottawa, she is satisfied that legal safeguards will ensure he has a fair trial in the city.
A summary of the judge's decision also says that given the significant media attention paid to the embattled former politician's case, a potential jury should be appropriately screened.
Hillier, who represented an Ottawa-area riding from 2007 to 2022, is facing nine criminal charges related to his role in the demonstrations against COVID-19 public-health measures and the federal Liberals.
Those charges include assaulting a peace officer, mischief, counselling others to commit mischief and resisting or obstructing a peace officer.