Emergencies Act inquiry: Highlights from convoy lawyer, Pat King testimony


Testimony from key gamers within the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests continued in Ottawa on Wednesday, with the Public Order Emergency Commission listening to from lawyer Keith Wilson, and some of the faces of the protests: Tom Marazzo and Pat King.

Kicking off Wednesday’s public hearings into the federal authorities’s invocation of the Emergencies Act was convoy lawyer Keith Wilson, who arrived in Ottawa to offer authorized assist to key organizers together with Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, however rapidly turned a central determine, concerned in negotiations round transferring vans close to the tail finish of the protests.

Wilson constructed on the image being painted for Commissioner Paul Rouleau of the weeks-long occasion as a “very fast-moving, chaotic atmosphere, with so many both interpersonal points arising between the gamers, or logistical points.”

Next up was Marazzo, a former navy captain who misplaced his faculty instructing job in 2021 as a result of establishment’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Well into the protests, Marazzo got here underneath heightened consideration after he urged at a press convention {that a} core group of organizers and their supporters might sit at a desk “with the Conservatives, and the NDP, and the Bloc as a coalition.” On Wednesday, he testified that when he stated this, he misspoke.

It was then King’s flip to take the stand. King was a key determine all through the protests. King livestreamed his arrest from his truck in February, and was launched on bail in mid-July, with circumstances together with staying off social media — the place even earlier than the convoy, he had a sizeable following and a well-documented historical past of constructing offensive remarks.

While different organizers sought to distance themselves from King, they did have contact with him. His presence in Ottawa gained extra consideration after in certainly one of his livestreams he urged the one means the protests would finish could be “with bullets,” which he sought to offer context to throughout his testimony.

Here are the highlights from Wednesday’s listening to.


At numerous factors in his testimony, Wilson known as out what he noticed as unusual characters and “hangers-on” participating in occasions in Ottawa, and went so far as suggesting some who had been concerned had been in it to “hijack the message” or attempt to get a chunk of the thousands and thousands of {dollars} in donations.

“What I noticed was that totally different teams had been making an attempt to take management. And what I noticed and consider to be true is that some had been making an attempt to take management as a result of they noticed the natural, flat hierarchy, largely, of the convoy, and needed to make it extra profitable and felt they’d the organizational functionality to try this. Other teams appear to wish to reshape the ‘Freedom Convoy’ into their very own occasion,” Wilson stated. “And I bought the distinct impression from some others that they had been making an attempt to get their fingers on what at that time was $10 million in donations.”

One instance of the “unusual individuals” the convoy attracted was a “coven of witches” that Wilson testified was “doing bizarre séance issues, and burning issues within the foyer.” He additionally talked about QAnon.

“Like moths to a flame,” Wilson stated. “It was a relentless effort by Ms. Lich and Mr. Barber and others to fend them off, so to talk. I do recall studying paperwork within the document the place CSIS and the RCMP had additionally intercepted communications and reached the identical conclusion, that there was a concerted effort by the mainstream group to withstand these hangers-ons.”

While King was a part of the protests from their infancy, in response to testimony from Marazzo that builds on different data the fee has acquired, different organizers had been additionally involved about his actions.

Asked why he thought somebody wanted to assist maintain him “nicely behaved,” Marazzo stated it was due to his fame. Asked what that was, right here was Marazzo’s response:

“Just a little little bit of a wild card… I had jokingly referred to him as a hand grenade going off in a room and scaring all people else that it was going to blow up. It was a little bit of a joke. He laughed. Everybody else appeared to assume it was humorous, but it surely was type of like humorous as a result of yeah, that is true.” Marazzo then added although, that he didn’t have a priority that King wouldn’t interact in harmonious protest. 


On Wednesday, fee counsel performed a compilation of a few of King’s movies, together with the one during which he said “the only way that this is going to be solved, is with bullets,” and requested him to elucidate himself.

King stated he had been ready a while to get the prospect to deal with this.

“That is taken directly out of context. One hundred per cent.”

Asked what was the context, right here’s what he stated:

“The context was, if you are Canadian and you want to exercise your political right to stand up and be [sic] freedom of protest and peaceful assembly, would you take it? Are you going to allow it to become bullets? Because if we keep going on the way we’re going to be going on, that’s some possible endgame that’s a prediction.”

Another video performed was of King suggesting that somebody was going to make Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “catch a bullet” at some point.

King rapidly launched into his clarification, saying it was “edited and spliced” to suit a story. King advised the fee that whereas he agrees he ought to have by no means stated this, he made this video after he was denied boarding a flight as a result of he wasn’t vaccinated, and what he meant was at some point somebody was going to have a break down, “and if you push people too far, especially denying them their flight, you never know who you’re gonna get.”

“I’m kind of a hothead, I kind of talk too much sometimes,” he testified.


Wilson was requested on Wednesday about Canada Unity’s contentious and finally deserted “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) that urged protesters might have the Senate and Gov. Gen. Mary Simon be part of them in forming a committee to order the revocation of COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates. 

As the fee has already heard, core convoy organizers tried to distance themselves from the proposal—which later morphed right into a suggestion suggestion from Marazzo that protesters might type a coalition with opposition events and the involvement of Simon to unseat the federal government.

Here’s Wilson’s perspective on it:

“The very first thing that is apparent about it’s a memorandum of understanding in its easiest authorized idea requires all events to it to sign. And it was evident that the signature strains on the final web page weren’t going to be signed by the Governor General nor somebody from the Senate… When I used to be requested by the board to temporary them on it… I defined that there is solely two ways in which governments change underneath our parliamentary system. The first is when the prime minister contacts the Governor General and dissolves Parliament, and requested that the writ be dropped. The second by parliamentary custom is the place a bill is recognized as a confidence vote, and Parliament votes to defeat the bill… This concept {that a} sure variety of individuals might sign a doc and that may by some means compel or incentivize and result in a change in authorities, I defined constantly and repeatedly, is authorized nonsense.”

On Wednesday, Marazzo testified that he did not intend to imply that protesters had been suggesting they turn out to be a part of authorities, somewhat they had been calling for opposition events to come back to the desk to attempt to push again on the Liberals. He stated he tried to make clear days later that he did not intend to recommend an undemocratic decision, however didn’t “see the purpose” of going past social media to take action.

As for the unique MOU, Marazzo stated he did not assume it was nicely written, and greater than something “muddied the waters” of the protests’ messaging and goals. 

When it was King’s flip to be requested about whether or not he ever made any assertion suggesting forming a brand new authorities or seeing the truckers take energy, he stated no.

“I hate politics. I hate government. So why would I want to be the new government?” 


Wilson—who performed a job in negotiations with the City of Ottawa to see some vans exit residential neighborhoods simply days earlier than the Emergencies Act was invoked—spoke at size on Wednesday about how the deal got here to be, and the way the convoy organizers tried to leverage the focus of vans in and round Wellington Street in entrance of Parliament Hill.

“What we had been hoping would occur is that the success that we felt we might obtain with the association and the settlement with the mayor, as a result of if it was profitable, we had been going to have had the downtown cleared out by the Wednesday however for Wellington… It would focus the protest now on the federal authorities, after which the federal authorities could be inspired by the truth that the truckers proved to be trustworthy brokers. And that may result in a gathering with some federal ministers,” Wilson stated.

“There was not a robust want to have a gathering with the prime minister. It was extra with the ministers, and that we might agree on a strategy of formally presenting briefs and knowledge and scientific data to assist, and comparative data as a result of Canada was an anomaly right now when it comes to our mandates… to try to persuade the federal government to assessment its insurance policies.” 


Another noteworthy growth in Wednesday’s hearings was Wilson telling the fee that there have been “quite a few instances” that the convoy’s “operation centre” would obtain data from “numerous police sources.”

This testimony constructed on what he advised the fee throughout a pre-interview, that whereas he was “unaware of the sources,” the “Freedom Convoy” was “receiving leaked data from legislation enforcement.”

Wilson indicated that whereas this occurred “many instances,” ultimately police caught on and tried to ship by false intel to attempt to ferret out the supply of the leaks. The fee has heard earlier testimony that the Ottawa Police Service has regarded into whether or not a few of its officers supported the protests and shared data with protesters.

During one other portion of Wilson’s testimony as he was underneath cross-examination by a federal authorities lawyer, he stated that round Feb. 12, protesters had been beginning to hear “rumors” that the federal authorities was considering invoking the federal Emergencies Act.

On Feb. 13, CTV News first reported that, in response to an interview with Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, the federal authorities was ready to invoke the Emergencies Act to see the trucker convoy protests and blockades. The extraordinary powers had been then enacted on Feb. 14.

Asked by the federal lawyer who advised the protest leaders that the federal government was contemplating utilizing the Act, Wilson stated he could not bear in mind. Nor did he recall any documentation he needed to again up this assertion.

“But I do bear in mind the supply that they relayed, they usually suggested that they’d heard from some MPs that there was lively dialogue over on the Parliament in regards to the prime minister contemplating utilizing the Emergencies Act. So MPs, some MPs had shared with the individuals concerned within the convoy, they usually reported that to me,” Wilson stated. 


Building on testimony that indicated that there was rigidity between protesters, early in King’s Wednesday look he was requested a couple of abstract of a dialog between himself and Lich on Jan. 28 earlier than he rolled into the nation’s capital that indicated Lich advised him to “check your f***ing ego.”

According to King, the abstract was of a dialog at a relaxation cease in Sudbury about King not attending the protests in Ottawa as a result of he was getting dying threats.

“Good, you shouldn’t go into Ottawa Pat. This movement isn’t about you OR me, it’s about Canada, it’s something bigger,” the decision abstract reads.

“I know it sucks because I organized this whole thing and now I can’t even go,” King stated, based mostly on the doc.

“You did NOT organize this whole thing Pat, all of us organized this Convoy, you need to check your f****ing ego and if you care about this movement at all you will not go into Ottawa,” Lich is recorded as saying.

Asked about this, he denied Lich asking him to not attend and stated Lich asking him to test his ego “never happened,” and he after all, proceeded on to Ottawa. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here