Justice Centre Statement on Convoy Funding
Posted On: September 7, 2022
The Justice Centre is a registered charity committed to defending the constitutional rights of Canadians.
Canadians and truckers from across the country made their way to Ottawa in January, to exercise their right to peaceful protest against government mandates. This was a grassroots movement that resulted in the largest peaceful protest in Canadian history. The Government responded by invoking the Emergencies Act, bringing in armed police, and using unprecedented power and violence to end an otherwise peaceful protest. The government also froze bank accounts of Canadians who supported the protestors.
In February 2022, the Justice Centre funded a team of lawyers to provide legal advice and representation to peaceful Canadian protestors in Ottawa. Justice Centre lawyers facilitated communications with police and played a role in coordinating an agreement with the City of Ottawa to move trucks out of residential areas.
Since February, the Justice Centre has continued to provide legal representation, through its own lawyers as well as outside counsel, to:
- Approximately 50 Canadians who have been criminally charged when their sole “crime” was to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble peacefully in Ottawa and express their opposition to government lockdowns and vaccine mandates;
- Truckers and other Canadians who have been named defendants in a $305-million class action lawsuit brought against them in Ontario Superior Court;
- Canadians who are challenging the abuse of the Emergencies Act in Federal Court, seeking a declaration that the government did not have reasonable grounds to do so and in fact, abused these unprecedented powers;
- Freedom Convoy participants who have standing to participate in the Public Order Emergency Commission and will provide factual accounts of the events that occurred during the protest in Ottawa in February 2022.
The Justice Centre is also an official party before the Public Order Emergency Commission and has been granted standing to provide policy recommendations to the Commission about the constitutional implications of invoking the Emergencies Act.
The Justice Centre has also funded the criminal defence of Tamara Lich, a Medicine Hat mother and grandmother, who has been subjected to five bail reviews, and was arrested on a Canada-wide warrant, for an alleged, minor bail breach.
Ms. Lich, who was not charged with a violent crime, spent a total of seven weeks in jail, in spite of not having any criminal record.
In addition to the cases which relate directly to legal matters resulting from events in Ottawa in February 2022, the Justice Centre continues to fund hundreds of cases across Canada where the Charter rights and fundamental freedoms of Canadians are threatened by government.
It is through the voluntary donations of our valued and dedicated supporters that it is possible for the Justice Centre to defend the free society and continue to challenge oppressive government actions that began in earnest more than two years ago. We receive no government funding.
While the Justice Centre’s funding capacity is not unlimited, the Justice Centre helps as many individuals as possible through our network of lawyers and dedicated staff and will continue to do so to the full extent our resources allow.
Canadians who have access to funds and can contribute to their legal costs are encouraged to do so, because the Justice Centre can only take a small percentage of the thousands of requests for help we receive each year. The matters the Justice Centre is involved with affect all Canadians in the common goal of living in a free and democratic society, where government is transparent and accountable to its citizens. We want to thank all our supporters for their continued commitment to our important work.