by WorldTribune Staff, July 17, 2023
Four men charged in connection with the 2022 Freedom Convoy which protested Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Covid mandates have been detained without bail for more than 500 days without a trial date being set.
Chris Lysak, Chris Carbert, Anthony (Tony) Olienick, and Jerry Morin are being held on charges related to “conspiracy to commit murder” against Canadian police officers at the Coutts, Alberta border crossing.
In a July 13 op-ed for Newsweek, trucker Gord Magill referred to the four men as Trudeau’s “political prisoners.”
“These are serious charges, which should imply serious evidence presented at an expeditious trial; yet at time of writing, it has been 515 days since these men were arrested, and no trial has yet taken place,” Magill wrote. “Worse, the evidence on offer is vague and ambiguous: text messages, testimony from two undercover RCMP officers working the crowd at the Coutts protest site, and a widely circulated photo of allegedly confiscated weapons that provided the main justification for the invocation of The Emergencies Act.”
Donald Best, a former detective and 15 year veteran of the Toronto Police Services, said it is rare for pretty much anyone charged in Canada not to get bail. Best noted that a suspect accused of the first degree murder of a Toronto Police Officer got bail, as did a member of Antifa who drove his jeep into a Freedom Convoy protest site in Winnipeg, Manitoba, injuring four people.
The most recent pre-trial hearing for the four men was on June 29 and the next isn’t scheduled until July 25. It is believed the actual trial date will be set for some time in 2024.
“These are political prisoners, pure and simple,” Magill wrote. “They are being denied basic rights due to even the most violent of criminals because they are on the wrong side of the Trudeau government. They are being used as a fig leaf, the last shred of Trudeau’s legitimacy for invoking The Emergencies Act and for the massive overreach of freezing bank accounts and seizing assets that it incurred.”
On Feb. 23, 2022, Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, allowing authorities to declare certain areas as no-go zones. It also allowed police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.
“While the Convoy was still hundreds of kilometers from Ottawa, Trudeau’s Public Safety Minister, Marco Mendocino, was planning a media campaign deploying ‘a similar message to the one used in response to the Jan. 6 attacks in Washington, D.C.’ which would emphasize the ‘more extreme elements’ of the protestors,” Magill noted. “Trudeau memed himself into believing that a January 6 type insurrection was about to storm Parliament Hill, and promptly vacated the city to hide at a chalet in rural Quebec, where he remained for several days.”
The Freedom Convoy, Magill added, “did not deliver on any of these manufactured concerns. In the three weeks of the protest, not a single violent act was committed. The protesters cleaned the streets of Ottawa and fed the homeless, and the weekends were raucous and joyful, with techno dance parties in the streets lasting into the wee hours.”
The Coutts Four are being treated “in a similar way,” to Jan. 6 detainees in Washington, D.C.’s gulag, Magill noted. They are being deprived “of their civil rights as the United States did to many protesters arrested in the days and weeks following that fateful day in D.C. Hundreds spent over a year in Guantanamo Bay-like conditions in D.C. prisons, denied bail and treated worse than convicted rapists and serial killers. As American Greatness reporter Julie Kelly chronicled at length, much of this treatment was utterly political in nature. But few in Canada are willing to expose our version of these abuses.”
Margaret “Granny” Mackay of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta is one of them.
The creator and administrator of the Alberta Political Prisoners Facebook page, Mackay is in regular contact with the accused men and their legal team.
“Mackay has highlighted the subpar treatment the men have received in remand, including being held in segregation, a polite term for the torture known as solitary confinement; having necessary medical treatment delayed; being denied supplements for treating specific health issues; and being granted extremely limited visitation time from family,” Magill wrote.
Mackay stated: “I’m after the truth,” but “the truth is locked in a remand center right now, and it’s not being allowed out.”