Judge denies Randy Hillier's bid to be allowed in downtown Ottawa

·2 min read
Independent MPP Randy Hillier greets protesters at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in mid-February during the Freedom Convoy.  (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Independent MPP Randy Hillier greets protesters at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in mid-February during the Freedom Convoy. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press - image credit)

An Ontario Superior Court justice has denied MPP Randy Hillier's bid to be allowed in downtown Ottawa, as a bail condition prohibits him from visiting following charges related to participating in the Freedom Convoy protest.

Hilllier, who remains an independent MPP for the riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, had sought a bail review hearing to remove the condition barring him from the downtown core of the nation's capital, aside from meeting his lawyer or attending court.

Hillier also sought the hearing because he believes another bail condition limiting his online activity "overly restricts Mr. Hillier's ability to speak about or support anti-mandate causes on social media or otherwise," according to his lawyer David Anber.

The hearing took place on the eve of preparations for a weekend rally in Ottawa, which doesn't specifically protest COVID-19 rules. Hillier told CBC News he would not attend any events connected to the rally, which include planned gatherings on Parliament Hill and at the National War Memorial.

Anber also told the court he had filed the bail review application before the rally "was even on anyone's radar."

"Randy [says] he doesn't plan on attending. So we're simply going after those two conditions because they're overly restrictive for the circumstances," Anber said.

Justice Hugh McLean still told the court Thursday afternoon "in the current circumstances" it was appropriate to keep the bail conditions preventing Hillier from visiting the city's downtown.

"Your client has, shall we say, an interesting record of not following the law," McLean told Anber.

Released on bail in March

After turning himself in on charges related to the convoy protest and occupation in downtown Ottawa, Hillier was released on bail with conditions in late March.

In charging Hillier, Ottawa police said they had complaints "about social media posts and other activities of an individual" during the so-called Freedom Convoy.

The charges include assaulting a peace or public officer; two counts of obstructing or resisting a public officer; one count of obstructing or resisting someone aiding a public or peace officer; three counts of counselling an uncommitted indictable offence, two of them considered mischief; and two counts of mischief or obstructing property exceeding $5,000.

Hillier denied assaulting an officer, saying he only greeted people "with love and affection and embrace and handshakes."

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