New charge laid against Coutts border blockade protester accused of breaching police barrier
Joanne Person, 62, charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
One of the protesters arrested following weeks of border blockades at the Coutts, Alta., crossing is facing a new charge stemming from an incident when a police barrier was breached by trucks and tractors.
Joanne Person, 62, is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle stemming from an incident on Feb.1 when the situation at the protest turned violent.
On that day, RCMP had set up a checkpoint about 20 kilometres to the north of Coutts, in the town of Milk River.
At 1:10 p.m., officers were monitoring the checkpoint when a large pickup truck approached. The female driver stopped but then proceeded to drive through the blockade, the RCMP said in a news release.
She drove southbound in the northbound lanes of the divided highway and crashed head-on with another vehicle a short time later, according to the release.
Person is due to appear in court on that charge on March 23.
One of 13 arrested in connection with blockades
Person already faces weapons and mischief charges. She is the only one of the 13 people arrested in connection with the blockades who does not have a lawyer.
The 13 people each made a brief court appearances Tuesday morning. They will all be back in court on March 28.
Most of the accused face charges of mischief to property over $5,000 and possession of a weapon.
Four also face an additional charge of conspiracy to murder for an alleged plot to kill RCMP officers.
All of the men charged with conspiracy to murder — Chris Carbert, Christopher Lysak, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin — remain in custody.
Lysak had a bail hearing earlier this month but a judge refused to release the accused.
Carbert and Lysak both have ties to a group with white supremacist beliefs.
The on-again, off-again blockade of the busy border crossing by people opposed to COVID-19 health restrictions lasted more than two weeks.
The arrests followed an RCMP raid of trailers on Feb. 14, when officers seized guns, body armour, a large quantity of ammunition and high-capacity firearm magazines.