On the 32nd day of the Lich and Barber trial, the proceedings began with the Crown continuing its response submissions.
The focus was on a text message sent by Barber to Pat King, wherein Barber queried, "we need more trucks to block them in?" The Crown argued that this message pointed to a common unlawful purpose. After concluding their response submissions, Diane Magas, representing the Barber, stood and informed the court of an email received from the Crown the previous night after 10:54 pm.
The email hinted at a potential change in the Crown's position ahead of the Carter application, pending its progression. Magas emphasized the importance for the defense to be informed about the case to meet concerning the Carter application.
3/ The crown has concluded their response submissions. Magas stands and indicates that she received an email from the crown last night after 10:54pm. The email states that the crown may change its position in advance of the Carter application, if the Carter application proceeds.— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) December 1, 2023
In response, the Crown expressed a desire to reserve the ability to alter their position and requested Justice Perkins-McVey, to make a determination. A short break was initiated to facilitate this process. During the break, an agreement was reached between the parties.
Upon resumption, Eric Granger, representing Lich, stood and commenced his reply to the Crown's response submissions. He contended that the directed verdict standard remained a viable option and identified five gaps in the Crown's arguments. These gaps included the Crown treating the events as a single protest, a failure to address the presumption of innocence, an oversimplification of evidence, misattributing the common design, and erroneously assuming collaboration between Lich and Barber for an unlawful purpose.
7/ 4) the crown treats the objective of ending COVID mandates as the common design when that's not what makes it unlawful, it's the chosen means, 5) it wrongly rests on the premise that if Lich and Barber were working on anything together it was to further a common unlawful…— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) December 1, 2023
Granger argued against the Crown's assertion that the absence of violence or peaceful nature of the protest didn't make it lawful, emphasizing that the onus was on the Crown to prove the protest's unlawfulness. Regarding charges related to blocking streets or obstructing roadways, Granger maintained that these actions could be criminal only if done wrongfully or without police authorization.
Granger further addressed specific statements attributed to Barber, such as 'slow rolls,' 'messing with police,' 'gridlock,' and 'honking.' He asserted an absence of evidence supporting Lich's involvement in these activities and emphasized the importance of considering their statements separately.
Regarding Barber's statement, "we train wrecked it," Granger clarified that Lich was not among the recipients of this message. Granger argued that Lich's discussions focused on money, fuel, and safety, which did not indicate an unlawful design. He took issue with the Crown for selectively including video portions of Facebook posts without considering the written portions, leading to a potentially distorted narrative.
19/ He suggests that the crown is cherry picking statements made by Lich as the crown included only the video portions of Facebook posts, and not the written portions. Granger submits that the written portions provide important context and should have been included.— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) December 1, 2023
Granger continued his submissions by addressing specific Crown statements and emphasized that the Crown failed to demonstrate a common unlawful purpose. Magas then began her submissions, highlighting her disagreement with the Crown's stance on the absence of violence as only an aggravating factor. She clarified that an assembly becomes unlawful only if the peace is disturbed tumultuously.
Magas addressed Barber's statements about a slow roll on January 9, 2022, arguing that it did not necessarily indicate an unlawful purpose. She compared it to ongoing strikes in the country, causing inconvenience and pressure on the government. Magas emphasized the lack of evidence showing an agreement between Lich and Barber, a requirement for the Carter application.
In reference to the McLean injunction, Magas urged the court to review the entire transcript for context, while the Crown advocated for providing only the ruling to the judge.
33/ And that's it for Day 32 and this week's proceedings. Again, thank you all for following our coverage. The trial is resuming Dec 7 at 1pm for one hour to allow Magas to complete her submissions. Lich and Barber are permitted to appear via Zoom.— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) December 1, 2023
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.