Thursday, June 20, 2024
The blockade at Coutts, Alberta in February 2022. Photo: True North
NewsTrucking

Multiple fines dropped against 14 Coutts truckers

By Rachel Emmanuel

Charges have been dropped against 14 Freedom Convoy truckers who participated in the Coutts, Alberta protest last year. 

In February 2022, protesters blocked the Canada-US border in Coutts to protest Covid-19 restrictions like vaccine mandates. The demonstration lasted around two weeks until the RCMP discovered weapons after executing a search warrant. 

Fourteen truckers were charged with parking violations, but all were exonerated after The Democracy Fund’s (TDF) lawyer pointed out that the law in question did not apply to vehicles parked in an urban area.

The truckers were part of Trucker Law, a TDF project that provided free legal defence for peaceful Freedom Convoy protesters. They were represented by Sean Mihalcheon of Williamson Law.

“While this victory for freedom is a cause for celebration, there are many court battles left to fight. TDF continues to defend the rights of peaceful protesters charged with criminal and provincial offences across the country,” TDF said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, another Freedom Convoy trucker who participated in the Ottawa demonstration has been told to turn himself into the Ottawa Police Service as he awaits four criminal charges

Harold Jonker, who runs Jonker Trucking Inc. out of Niagara, Ont., has announced that he’ll turn himself into the Ottawa police on May 10, where he’ll be fingerprinted and have a court appearance. 

He faces one charge of mischief for obstructing property; one count of intimidation by blocking or obstructing highway; and two counts of counsel for an uncommitted, indictable offence.

Jonker said he’s surprised that he’s being charged 15 months after the 2022 Freedom Convoy ended. 

“I’m definitely scratching my head like, ‘Why now? Why not a year ago?’” he told True North. 

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This article was originally published in True North. Used with permission.