OTTAWA — "Freedom Convoy" organizer Tamara Lich was once again released from jail on Tuesday after a Ontario Superior Court judge found errors in the decision to revoke her bail two weeks ago.
Lich was mobbed outside the Ottawa courthouse with cheers and hugs from an enthusiastic group of about two dozen supporters.
They included familiar faces from the protest that gridlocked downtown Ottawa for three weeks earlier this, which saw crowds protesting COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine mandates, and the Liberal government.
"We feel it's long overdue," Lich's lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said after his client's release.
Earlier Tuesday, Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman gave Lich a stern warning before she was allowed to leave the courtroom.
"It must be crystal clear to you by now that the authorities are monitoring your every action," he told her. He added that should she return for another bail review, he thinks it would be unlikely that she would be released again.
Lich is charged with mischief, obstructing police, intimidation and counselling others to commit mischief for her role in the massive protest.
Initially arrested in February, Lich was released on bail the next month. She was then arrested on a Canada-wide warrant at the end of June for an alleged breach of her bail conditions, which forbade her from having contact with a long list of fellow convoy organizers without lawyers present.
Lich was photographed with one of the people on that list — Tom Marazzo — at an awards ceremony put on by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms in Toronto.
Lich received permission from the court to attend the gala, where she was treated as guest of honour and presented with a "Freedom Award" in recognition of her leadership during the convoy.
Justice of the Peace Paul Harris ordered her jailed until her trial, saying there was no evidence that lawyers were present and that the two were clearly not discussing her case.
On Tuesday, Goodman said the justice of the peace made several legal errors, including that her bail conditions didn’t stipulate that she had to be discussing her case.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2022.
Laura Osman, The Canadian Press