International News

Ottawa city staff to take stand at ‘Freedom Convoy’ trial

The criminal trial of two “Freedom Convoy” organizers is expected to hear the city’s perspective on the controversial protest as Ottawa’s emergency manager takes the stand.

Kim Ayotte oversaw the city’s bylaw enforcement, fire and paramedic services during last year’s demonstration, as well as the department that oversees special events.

Tamara Lich and Chris Barber are on trial to determine whether they committed mischief or counselled others to commit mischief, intimidation and other offences over the course of the protest.

Protesters blocked city streets and residential neighbourhoods around Parliament Hill in a protest against COVID-19 public-health restrictions, and refused to leave for three weeks.

Ayotte provided daily situation updates to then-Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and the rest of city council during the demonstration.

Ottawa declared a state of emergency after the second weekend of the protest in what the mayor at the time called “the most serious emergency our city has ever faced.”

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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