Tamara Lich, key organizer of anti-vaccine mandate protests in Ottawa, denied bail

By Mia Rabson and Jim Bronskill

OTTAWA – Tamara Lich, one of the leading organizers behind protests against COVID-19 restrictions and the Liberal government near Parliament Hill, has been denied bail.

An Ontario court judge issued the decision in Ottawa this morning, saying she believed there was a substantial likelihood Lich would reoffend if released.

Ontario Court Justice Julie Bourgeois said in the decision that the effect on the community from the actions of the convoy were immense and that she felt Lich was obstinate and disingenuous in her responses to the court during her bail hearing on Saturday.

“I cannot be reassured that if I release you into the community that you will not reoffend,” Bourgeois said.

“Your detention is necessary for the protection and safety of the public.”

Lich appeared in court via a video link, rather than in person.

A separate bail hearing is scheduled this morning for fellow protest organizer Patrick King.

Lich was arrested last Thurs- day and charged with counselling to commit mischief and promised during a bail hearing on Saturday to give up her advocacy of the protest and return to Alberta.

Bourgeois reserved her bail decision on Lich until today.

In addition to holding Lich in custody, Bourgeois ordered Lich to have no contact with King, and other convoy organizers Benjamin Dichter, Christopher Barber and Daniel Bulford.

Barber was arrested the same day as Lich and released on bail on Saturday.

King, 44, was arrested on Friday and faces charges of mischief, counselling to commit mischief, counselling to commit the offence of disobeying a court order and counselling to obstruct police.

Lich’s bail decision came the day after the House of Commons voted to support the government’s use of measures under the Emergencies Act, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked last week in a bid to end blockades in Ottawa and at key Canada-U.S. border crossings.

The Liberal government gained the support of New Democrats to get the measures approved.

The Senate is scheduled to start its own debate today on the measures.

Ottawa police said in a statement Monday that officers have made 196 arrests, with 110 facing a variety of charges.

Ottawa police also said 115 vehicles connected to the protest have been towed.