Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Prominent “Freedom Convoy” protest figure Patrick King has been denied bail for mischief and a slew of other charges in an Ontario provincial court.
According to Justice of the Peace Andrew Seymour, "a reasonable person, properly informed, would lose confidence in the administration of justice if Mr. King was released."
The proceedings will continue on March 18, in Ottawa.
Organizers made attempts to distance themselves from King, an Alberta resident, as previous inflammatory and racist statements as well as a history of stoking conflicts, brought negative attention in the leadup to the mass of protesters arriving in Canada’s capital.
On the ground, King regularly was seen offering aid and claimed to be helping with coordination throughout the three-week action. On the Canada Unity website, King was listed as a regional road captain and appeared in streams with Canada Unity founder and originator of the convoy concept, James Bauder to promote the protest before it gained significant attention. Bauder also acted as the east coast organizer of the 2019 Yellow Vests Canada convoy to Ottawa, United We Roll.
A portion of his arrest was live streamed by King just before being taken into custody.
All The King’s Men
Initially scheduled for Friday afternoon, a change the evening before saw King brought into the court this morning, as the Crown Moiz Karimjee requested the bail hearing be reopened. According to the Crown, on March 9, 2017, King resolved a charge of uttering threats with a peace bond. However, as a condition, he was not allowed to possess weapons.
While King reportedly did turn over a rifle, Karimjee says two days later the Alberta resident purchased a restricted handgun. Karimjee added that he was unaware of this information until an RCMP officer contacted the crown after seeing media reports on the case.
King’s lawyer, Cal Rosemond argued against reopening the bail hearing, arguing that “state negligence” was responsible for missing the issues around the firearm.
“Every minute he spends in jail, I submit, is in excess of what he would if he was actually guilty instead of presumptively innocent,” Rosemond argued, adding shortly after, “we have a crown that had ample opportunity to discover this evidence or whatever they wanted to present to the court in anticipation of the bail hearing. They had the benefit of a long weekend to prepare. They have the benefit of a very senior, experienced crown. They have the benefit, for lack of a better term, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men on this case.”
Another convoy member, 44-year old, Tyson George Billings of High Prairie, Alberta also appeared in a separate bail hearing today for charges of mischief, counselling to mischief, counselling to disobey a court order, obstructing police, and counselling to obstruct police.
Screencapture of Tyson George Billings (left) and Pat King (right) together during a live stream.
Like King, he was also arrested while live streaming. The footage shows Billings boasting about sneaking back into the protest area in Ottawa, and shouting “Freedom” at passersby while being taken into custody.
Convoy organizer and public face Tamara Lich was denied bail for similar charges on Tuesday.
Lich was arrested on the evening of February 17 in Ottawa. According to the Ottawa Police Service, she was charged with Counselling to commit the offence of mischief. Shortly after her arrest, pictures and video of the incident began circulating on a variety of social media platforms, including groups for a similar upcoming convoy in the United States.
Born in Saskatchewan, Lich now hails from Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she served as an organizer for Yellow Vests Canada, a regional coordinator for the separatist Western Exit or “Wexit” movement in Alberta, and until the convoy began, was the secretary for the Maverick Party – another separatist movement and fringe political party. Throughout the course of the "Freedom Convoy," Lich has appeared alongside Benjamin "B.J." Dichter, Chris Barber, and other organizers at press conferences.
Another protest organizer, Chris Barber was granted bail last week, according to the CBC, but required to leave Ottawa in 24 hours and the province of Ontario by February 24. Barber’s wife was tasked to serve as his surety.