Emergency lane along Parliament lost during 'Freedom Convoy' protest, court hears

Ottawa's emergency services manager says the emergency lane on the street along Parliament Hill was blocked by trucks that had chained themselves together during the "Freedom Convoy" protest last year.

Kim Ayotte says the city and police had planned to keep one lane open for emergency vehicles, but it was "lost" after the first night of the protest.

Tamara Lich and Chris Barber are on trial for alleged mischief and counselling others to commit mischief, intimidation and other offences during the protest against COVID-19 public-health measures.

Ayotte testified in court today that emergency lanes were mostly maintained throughout the rest of the protest zone.

He was also the senior point person responsible for facilitating a deal between the city and protesters to move trucks out of residential neighbourhoods on Feb. 14 and Feb. 15.

He says the efforts stalled on Feb. 15 after an incident with police, but Ottawa police gave him very limited information about what happened.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press