Ottawa

Ottawa convoy protest organizer Tamara Lich denied bail

Tamara Lich, a major organizer of the so-called Freedom Convoy, was denied bail Tuesday morning.

Judge was not convinced she would go home and follow conditions

Tamara Lich first appeared in court on Feb. 19, then was denied bail three days later. (Lauren Foster-MacLeod/CBC)

Tamara Lich, a major organizer of the so-called Freedom Convoy, was denied bail Tuesday morning in Ottawa.

Lich, the Alberta woman behind a now-halted GoFundMe campaign that raised over $10 million to support the protest in Ottawa, was arrested and charged Thursday with counselling to commit mischief.

Before her arrest, she told journalists she wasn't concerned about being arrested, didn't think the protest was illegal and also said her bank account was frozen.

On Tuesday, the judge said she was not convinced Lich would go home, stay there and stop her alleged counselling.

"This community has already been impacted enough by some of the criminal activity and blockades you took part in and even led," said Justice Julie Bourgeois.

"You have had plenty of opportunity to remove yourself and even others from this criminal activity but obstinately chose not to and persistently counselled others not to either. 

"In Canada, every citizen can certainly disagree with and protest against government decisions but it needs to be done in a democratic fashion in abidance with the laws that have been established democratically."

Set to return next week

Bourgeois said she found Lich to be guarded and "almost obstructive" at times during the initial court appearance on Saturday and the judge stated it was disturbing Lich didn't have a plan to get home after other organizers started getting arrested.

Her husband Dwayne Lich, who would be responsible as a proposed surety to report any breach of bail conditions, gave "unreliable and not credible" evidence, Bourgeois found.

Tamara Lich, who Bourgeois says could face a "lengthy" stay in prison if convicted, is scheduled to return to court on March 2.

Lich's lawyer Diane Magas confirmed to CBC Tuesday afternoon she plans to seek an appeal of the decision to deny her client bail.

Downtown Ottawa is starting to return to normal after police flooded the core over the weekend, towing more than 100 vehicles that didn't leave and charging more than 100 people.

Businesses that had been forced to close are starting to reopen, light rail is running again through downtown and the area controlled by police checkpoints has shrunk.

Protest organizer Tamara Lich speaks with reporters before her arrest

4 months ago
Duration 1:22
Convoy organizer Tamara Lich spoke with reporters just before 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Metcalfe and Wellington Streets in Ottawa.

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