Lich Trial Highlights: September 6, 2023

The second day of the Lich and Barber trial saw the Crown calling background evidence about the Freedom Convoy protests.

The Crown began by calling Inspector Russell Lucas, who was the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) Incident Commander for the Freedom Convoy.

This witness testified about how the OPS vastly underestimated the number of trucks and personal vehicles coming to Ottawa in the early days of the protest. He further testified about a traffic plan and stated that he endorsed a plan to concentrate the parking of trucks on Wellington Street as it would strike the right balance between protecting the right to protest and public safety.

As Inspector Lucas explained, this plan would place the protestors near Parliament, where they wanted to be, while it would simultaneously mitigate disruptions to the city and put the police in a better position to manage the protest than if it were more widespread.

Unfortunately, the plan to concentrate trucks on Wellington was overruled by the Chief of Police who directed officers not to give “one inch” to the protestors, by which he meant not letting any more trucks onto Wellington Street.

In cross examination, we heard briefly about a “code of conduct” and a “registration form” for truckers. We also heard about how there was no violence against police by the protestors. Finally, there was evidence about efforts made by Tamara Lich and her then lawyers to strike a deal with the city to move truckers onto Wellington.

More evidence is expected to come out on these points in the coming days.  

The crown called their second witness, Officer Elizabeth Cyr, late in the day. Cyr testified that she was one of 20 Public Liaison Officers (PLT) assigned to the protests. The role of the PLT is to liaise and negotiate with protestors for the purpose of protecting public safety.

Her testimony will continue on Day 3 of the trial.

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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