“Freedom Convoy” lawyer Keith Wilson stated he by no means imagined the federal authorities would use pressure towards “non-violent, peaceable Canadians” when he inspired protesters to proceed to oppose COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa after the Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act.
Wilson testified about his involvement within the protest on the Public Order Emergency Commission, the general public inquiry tasked with investigating the choice to invoke the act, on Wednesday.
After the act was invoked on Feb. 14, police warned protesters they would wish to go away downtown Ottawa, the place a number of hundred autos had been blocking the streets for about three weeks.
Wilson and his staff wrote to interim Ottawa police Chief Steve Bell to say that in his opinion, police didn’t have the ability to stop a peaceable protest within the downtown core.
The message from police and others “that any Canadian citizen was now not allowed to stroll in downtown Ottawa or maintain an indication in entrance of their Parliament was not legally correct and was towards the Charter,” Wilson testified Wednesday.
At that time, “it was apparent” police had been planning some type of operation, he stated.
One of the convoy organizers, Chris Barber, invited Wilson make a TikTok video with him to encourage protesters to remain within the core on Feb. 15.
“This emergency order from the federal authorities doesn’t prohibit Canadians’ rights of peaceable meeting,” Wilson stated within the video, which was launched by the fee.
He informed viewers it appeared like police had been “gearing up,” however one option to cease that from occurring was for Canadians to “come to Ottawa as quickly as you may get right here and stand with the truckers.”
On Feb. 18 police launched a serious operation to arrest and clear protesters out of the core.
During his testimony, Wilson was requested whether or not he was involved he was encouraging demonstrators to place their very own security in danger within the police operation.
“I’m a Canadian and I by no means imagined that our authorities our federal authorities would use that degree of pressure towards non-violent, peaceable Canadians,” he stated.
The choice to invoke the Emergencies Act got here after weeks of what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau known as an “unlawful occupation” of downtown Ottawa, and tales of frustration from folks residing within the space, lots of whom had been essential of the police response.
The fee is tasked with figuring out whether or not the federal government was justified in triggering the never-before-used laws. It is holding public hearings in Ottawa till Nov. 25.
GovCan: You agree vans do not have constitution rights?
GovCan: and Trucks cannot park wherever any time of day
Wilson: I used to be requested on a regular basis. And informed the truckers that they might be ticketed or towed…however they had been informed by police to park there
— Judy Trinh (@judyatrinh) November 2, 2022
This is the flight to Ottawa that JCCF lawyer Keith Wilson testified about this morning at #POEC. (He stated right now he was double-vaccinated.) https://t.co/65QufcJr65
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) November 2, 2022
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Nov. 2, 2022.