Alberta border blockade cases delayed: Lawyers waiting for RCMP evidence


Four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder after being arrested at a border blockade in southern Alberta are to return to court next month once lawyers have received more information.

Christopher Lysak, 48, is also charged with uttering threats, possession of a weapon, and mischief to property over $5,000.

Lysak — along with Chris Carbert, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin — are to return to Lethbridge provincial court April 11.

All four men remain in custody. Only Lysak has had a hearing and been denied bail.

Lawyers for Carbert and Olienick informed court Monday that they were no longer representing the two men.

Carbert has retained well-known Calgary defense lawyer Balfour Der. Olienick said he will have new counsel before the next court appearance.

Crown prosecutor Aaron Rankin said a delay was necessary.

“We’re asking for a two-week adjournment because we’re expecting RCMP to provide additional evidence by the end of this week,” he said.

Rankin urged Olienick to obtain a new lawyer without delay.

“These are obviously very serious charges and we hope that you will secure counsel as soon as possible.”

Rankin said he intends to keep all of the suspects moving through the court together.

A protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions began on the US border near Coutts, Alta., in late January and went on for almost three weeks.

A total of 14 people have been charged after RCMP found a cache of long guns, handguns, body armor, large amounts of ammunition and high-capacity magazines in three trailers.

Two tactical vests seized displayed badges, which the Canadian Anti-Hate Network said have links to troubling movements. One vest had a “Diagolon” patch on it — a white diagonal line across a black rectangle — which the network has said is linked to an often conspiratorial and anti-Semitic group.

Police said the threat was “very serious” and the group was willing to use force if the blockade was disrupted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2022.

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