Day 8 of the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber saw the cross-examination of Sergeant Pilotte on the voir dire.
Sergeant Pilotte admits that she did not choose which videos was downloaded: she was given a list by detective Benson; she did not retain the list. The witness is temporarily excused. The then judge asks if detective Benson retained the list. The Court is told that the defense…— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 14, 2023
Counsel for Mr. Barber showed Sergeant Pilotte several videos of Chris Barber wherein Mr. Barber at various times exhorted people to remain peaceful. He admonished one protester who allegedly burned a Canadian flag and another who displayed a Canadian flag upside down.
At one point, he implores truckers to ensure the public is protected from a “roll off” truck, asking that a proper tarp be used. He advised people to cooperate and obey law enforcement, stressing that people should not direct their anger at police. Former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Brian Peckford appeared in several videos, during which he explained and defended the Charter rights of Canadians to peacefully protest and assemble.
Another video from February 14. Or is also seemingly of CB and the Peckfords. Brian Peckford advises that Canadians deserve the rights under the Charter. They exhort people to “hold the line.” Sergeant Pilotte says she does not recall this video. The judge is a bit surprised…— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 14, 2023
Co-counsel for Ms. Lich, Eric Granger, then cross-examined Sergeant Pilotte. Mr. Granger showed the officer a document comprising a post from the Freedom Convoy 2022 Facebook page, which asks that people remain peaceful & lawful, that they not engage with agitators, and spread “peace, love and unity.” Some videos of Ms. Lich were then shown to Sergeant Pilotte. In these videos, Ms. Lich asked that people report anyone making threats or engaging in violence. She disavowed any expression of hatred or violence.
Sergeant Pilotte was shown a document comprising a post that appeared on the Freedom Convoy 2022 Facebook page, apparently made by an MP in which the MP advised people to "hold the line.” There is previous evidence that this phrase was used by both Ms. Lich and Mr. Barber. However, this latest evidence now perhaps suggests that this phrase was not used exclusively by them: it was, rather, part of common protest language.
We return to the last portion of Day 8. Cross-examination of Sergeant Pilotte continues. Initially she went to James Bowders Facebook page, where he says he is the founder of Canada unity foundation: it was publicly accessible at that time. She confirms that Canada unity…— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 14, 2023
A video taken during the Ottawa protest of two MPs was also shown wherein the MPs suggested that people come to Ottawa. Mr. Granger asked Sergeant Pilotte if either of these MPs were charged for conduct related to the Ottawa protest: she said she was not certain of that.
The day concluded with some discussion of outstanding disclosure and the difficulty of finishing the trial on schedule. It will be recalled that, of the 22 witnesses scheduled to testify for the Crown, only two have finished giving their testimony: 8 of the 10 days allotted to the Crown to present its case have now passed, however. The trial continues Monday, September 18, 2022.
We are done for the day. A reminder that the Court will not sit tomorrow. The trial will resume on Monday, September 18, 2022, 10 am. My colleague and counsel at TDF, Adam Blake-Gallipeau, will be posting trial updates to keep everyone informed. I hope you enjoyed our coverage.— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 14, 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.