Former MPP Randy Hillier will stand trial in Ottawa after motion denied
Former MPP Randy Hillier will go to trial on charges related to the convoy protest in Ottawa after a Superior Court justice dismissed a motion to change the venue.
Hillier faces nine charges in all, which include assaulting a peace or public officer, obstructing or resisting a public officer and mischief or obstructing property exceeding $5,000.
On Thursday his defence lawyer David Anber argued to change the venue of the trial because of what he calls "widespread bias" in Ottawa connected to Hillier's support of the convoy that paralyzed parts of the downtown core last year.
If the application was successful, the trial would have been held in another jurisdiction.
Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips upheld his decision for a summary dismissal on the motion, citing "procedural safeguards" to ensure a fair trial. He also pointed to the population of Ottawa, which includes many who he says were not directly affected by the convoy.
The justice likened similar motions made by convoy organizers James Bauder and Pat King, who were also unsuccessful in their bid for a change of venue.
Anber said the justice "got it wrong" and accused Phillips of dismissing the motion without a hearing or any input from either parties. He called the decision a "total shock."
Anber said he would have liked to see the trial take place in Pembroke, Perth, Cornwall, Brockville or even Kingston.
"The people immediately in the vicinity of the Freedom Convoy really impacts and taints and poisons the jury pool across the entire city," Anber said.
Hillier is the former independent MPP for Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston. A trial start date is expected to be set in June.