Lich Trial Highlights: September 22, 2023

On Day 13 of the trial, Arpin testified that he had been informed that OPS had halted the movement of trucks out of residential areas, but he lacked direct evidence of this. He recapped the agreement letter, which contained Mayor Watson's offer to meet with convoy members if they started removing trucks from residential areas.

Arpin communicated with lawyer Keith Wilson via text messages about the number of trucks that had been removed. Despite being aware of the application for an injunction by the city, Arpin admitted that he did not inform Eva Chipiuk about it. Keith Wilson informed Arpin via text message on February 15 that there were trucks ready to move, but the police were not permitting any movement. Arpin asked Wilson to stand down temporarily.

In another text, Wilson informed Arpin that 40 more trucks were ready to move. Arpin acknowledged that if these trucks had been removed from residential areas, it would have fulfilled the agreement with the city. In a February 16 text, Arpin apologized to Wilson for the city and police's role in preventing the removal of trucks. He saw this as a failure to assist in the goodwill arrangement.

Arpin admitted that he was aware of an amendment made to the idling bylaw in February 2022, which lowered the permissible temperature for idling trucks from 5 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius. Greenspon asked Arpin if the city made this amendment with the intent to “freeze out” the truckers. Arpin responded: “I believe that would be the outcome.”

Arpin and the crown disclosed to the court that Arpin sent an email to the crown on September 21, 2023, regarding an "important miscommunication" in his testimony the previous day and sought to clarify it. The crown stated that the miscommunication was in relation to a number of notes he may or may not have added to his files during the convoy. This point was thoroughly questioned in examination in chief, cross-examination and through direct questions from the judge; Justice Perkins-McVey denied the crown request on this basis.

In cross-examination, Arpin agreed that on January 31, Mayor Watson requested assistance from Prime Minister Trudeau, who responded with an offer of assistance without providing specific details.

Arpin was shown a letter from Eva Chipiuk dated February 4, 2022, but claimed he did not recall seeing it and suggested a junior staff member may have seen it. He confirmed having conversations with Ayotte on February 14 and agreed that he mentioned "large swaths of the downtown core that were being cleared" of vehicles.

Arpin acknowledged that during the POEC, he testified that there were no trucks on Bank Street and that it was completely cleared. He added that there were an additional 3 or 4 blocks without any trucks. Arpin attributed his conclusion about the absence of trucks downtown to photo evidence.

Disclaimer: Please remember this update is given for information purposes only. It is not legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should consult a lawyer for specific advice.

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