‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich arrested in Alberta

By Kareeem Gouda, Todd Kaufman and Andrew Cowie

Ottawa police say “Freedom Convoy” organizer Tamara Lich has been arrested in Alberta for “breach of court conditions” and will be sent back to Ottawa to appear in court.

Lich’s lawyer, Eric Granger, could not confirm where in the province she was arrested, but another lawyer who has also represented Lich, Keith Wilson, said on Twitter that the arrest happened Monday in Medicine Hat, Alta., where Lich lives. Medicine Hat police did not immediately respond to a request to confirm if Lich had been arrested there.

“We are not aware of anything that could have prompted this and are surprised by this development given the recent bail review hearing in Ontario where Ms. Lich’s positive record for complying with her conditions was one reason why some of her conditions were relaxed at that time,” Granger wrote in an email to The Canadian Press.

Lich gained notoriety for being one of the organizers of the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa which saw weeks of disruptions in the capital city.

The arrest also comes ahead of reported plans for more freedoms protests in the capital on Canada Day.

Her conditions include no involvement of any kind in COVID-19 or vaccine mandate protests, and to avoid contact with at least 10 other convoy organizers.

Lich spent 18 days behind bars after she was arrested in February and charged with mischief and counselling to commit mischief.

Back in May, an Ottawa judge decided that Lich will remain released on bail while awaiting trial. Lich and fellow protest organizer Chris Barber are jointly accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips said his decision was based on how well Lich’s surety has supervised her, that she has followed her bail conditions, along with “having had a taste of jail,” which lowered risk of reoffence.

The judge said he does not accept that Lich breached her release conditions by agreeing to receive an award, and added Lich can be trusted to respect the conditions of her release.

Related: ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich won’t return to jail after bail release Tamara Lich

She was released with a long list of conditions, including a ban from all social media and an order not to “support anything related to the Freedom Convoy.”

The terms of Lich’s release were intended to prevent a similar protest from happening in the national capital, the judge said, adding the court does not seek to control people’s political views.

With files from the Erika Ibrahim, The Canadian Press

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