Pat King, an outspoken leader of a convoy of trucks that came to Ottawa and became entrenched in the city’s downtown core for more than three weeks, has been denied bail.
“Mr. King will be detained,” Justice of the Peace Andrew Seymour said on Friday.
In his explanation, Mr. Seymour said evidence from the Crown painted a “portrait of an individual who has clear intention to continue his protest and is indifferent to the consequences.” He also described “significant frailties” in a proposed bail plan.
Earlier this week in court, Kerry Komix of Alberta offered to be Mr. King’s surety. She had promised $50,000, about half the equity of her home, and said if Mr. King were released, he would be in her full-time care. She also said she came to the capital with Mr. King as part of the protests.
Mr. Seymour said on Friday that Ms. Komix testified her commitment was to the administration of justice.
“However, I am left questioning the credibility of that commitment, given her own participation in the occupation and activity on social media,” he said.
On cross-examination, Ms. Komix acknowledged she has known Mr. King for only about four weeks, since joining him in the demonstrations, he added.
Ms. Komix acknowledged participating in the blockades that “form the basis of the mischief charge that Mr. King now stands accused of committing,” he said.
Mr. King, a 44-year-old from Red Deer, Alta., is charged with mischief, counselling to commit the offence of disobeying a court order and counselling to obstruct police.
“In conclusion, if the crime is serious or very violent, if there is overwhelming evidence against the accused and if the victim or victims were vulnerable, pretrial detention will usually be ordered,” Mr. Seymour said on Friday.
“I find that to be the case here. A reasonable person properly informed would lose confidence in the administration of justice should Mr. King be released.”
Mr. King appeared in court on Friday in a sweat suit and camouflage jacket. His next court date is March 18.
Earlier this week, Tamara Lich of Medicine Hat, Alta., who started the GoFundMe page for what protesters call the “Freedom Convoy 2022,” was also denied bail. She is a former member of the governing council of the separatist Maverick Party.
Justice Julie Bourgeois said there was a “substantial risk” Ms. Lich would reoffend if she was released and that she would not follow a court order to stop the illegal activity she is accused of committing. Ms. Lich faces several charges, including mischief and interfering with the lawful use and operation of property.
Police ended the demonstrations in Ottawa last weekend. Protesters in the city’s core were largely cleared out on Saturday. On Sunday, officers swept through a logistics camp a few kilometres east of the downtown.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson described what took place in the city as an “occupation.” On Thursday, he terminated a state of emergency declared on Feb. 6. The municipality said the declaration was “in response to the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the occupation.”
Mr. Seymour said on Friday the occupation continued even as local and provincial governments declared states of emergency and the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week that the federal government would end its use of the act because police have sufficient tools to deal with further challenges.
He said an inquiry mandated by the legislation would begin within 60 days, and a joint committee of parliamentarians is to review actions taken after the declaration.
The Prime Minister said the inquiry will look into why the act was required, policing, and “the funding, influence and disinformation that supported the illegal blockades and occupations, both foreign and domestic.”
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