Randy Hillier back in court seeking location change for 'Freedom Convoy' jury trial

OTTAWA — Former Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, who is facing charges in connection with last year's "Freedom Convoy," is seeking for a second time to move his jury trial away from Ottawa.

Hillier's lawyer argues that widespread opposition against the protest in the capital could lead to an unfair trial if his case is heard in the city, while Crown prosecutors say there are legal safeguards to ensure an impartial jury.

Hillier is facing nine charges in connection to his participation in the early 2022 protests against COVID-19 public-health measures and the federal government.

Those charges include assaulting a public or peace officer, criminal mischief, counselling others to commit mischief and resisting or obstructing a public or peace officer.

Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips denied Hillier's initial change-of-venue request in April, citing procedural safeguards that would ensure a fair trial.

The court adjourned without hearing a decision, and the next hearing is expected Oct. 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press