No bail decision yet for Tamara Lich, convoy protest organizer
Lich told court she has few assets and her bank accounts have been frozen
A second major organizer of the so-called Freedom Convoy will have to wait a few more days before an Ontario Court of Justice judge decides whether to grant her bail.
Tamara 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.
Police arrested another key leader, Chris Barber, on the same day. He was released on bail Friday.
Before her arrest, Lich told journalists she wasn't concerned about being arrested, didn't think the protest was illegal and also said her bank account was frozen
WATCH: Protest organizer Tamara Lich speaks with reporters before her arrest
At her bail hearing Saturday, Lich wore a black hoodie with white text that combined a heart and maple leaf to read "I love Canadian oil and gas."
She was also required to wear a medical mask, one of the mandates the convoy has been fighting against, along with requiring COVID-19 vaccines to participate in certain activities like cross-border trucking.
Crown attorney Moiz Karimjee focused on both Lich and her husband Dwayne's ability to pay a proposed $5,000 bond if Lich breached any conditions the judge may impose.
Lich, who lives in Medicine Hat, Alta., and her husband both work in the oil and gas sector. Lich told the court she has no savings and few assets, including a 2017 Jeep and 2018 Ford F-150 that they're continuing to make payments on.
She also offered no suggestions how she would be able to make her way back to Alberta if ordered to, since she travelled to Ottawa with Barber, whose bail conditions include that he not communicate with her.
Her lawyer, Diane Magas, later told court that one of the lawyers representing Lich in a proposed $10-million class-action lawsuit against protesters would be able to drive the couple back to Alberta, allowing her to leave within the next week.
Husband travelled on private jet
Lich has been a major player in the demonstrations in Canada's capital, which have lasted for more than three weeks and have attracted international attention.
Ottawa police said Saturday they had made 170 arrests and towed 53 vehicles out of the occupation zone.
Dwayne Lich has been proposed to act as her surety, meaning he would have to report if she breached any bail conditions.
In his testimony, he said he flew to Ottawa on Feb. 2 on a private jet at a cost of $5,000, paid for by a "nice gentleman" named Joseph that he'd only recently met.
"But he told me that my plane ride was taken care of, which was a miracle," he told the court.
The Crown questioned Dwayne Lich on his ability to serve as surety, given he'd been in Ottawa throughout much of the protests while his wife had been recorded telling protesters to "Hold the line at all costs."
While he said he didn't believe in the blockades or holding the line, Dwayne Lich also said he didn't see anything wrong, equating the blockades to a large traffic jam or parked cars in a snow storm.
"I don't see no guns. I don't see anything criminal as far as I can see. I just see trucks parked," he said.
Dwayne Lich questions legality of Emergencies Act
He also questioned whether the Emergencies Act — which was debated Saturday in the House of Commons — was implemented legally, at times confusing the numbered amendments found in the U.S. Constitution with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Honestly? I thought it was a peaceful protest and based on my first amendment, I thought that was part of our rights," he told the court.
"What do you mean, first amendment? What's that?" Judge Julie Bourgeois asked him.
"I don't know. I don't know politics. I don't know," he said. "I wasn't supportive of the blockade or the whatever, but I didn't realize that it was criminal to do what they were doing. I thought it was part of our freedoms to be able to do stuff like that."
He also began asking the court about whether the Liberal government was legally allowed to implement the Emergencies Act.
"Can you tell me if what they did is really legal? If this is something that they can be doing or is it against everything that is good and holy? I don't know," he said.
While the Crown argued his comments showed he might not recognize the law, Magas asked him if he understood that any restrictions set by the court would need to be followed, to which he said he did.
The Crown is arguing against bail for Tamara Lich, saying she's already proven she has no respect for the law and that her husband's testimony shows they have rich friends and could fundraise more money.
The judge is expected to make a decision Tuesday.