GUNTER: Elites just can’t accept that there was no convoy conspiracy

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I was wrong. In my Sunday column about the legal attempts to return Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich to jail, I said it was the federal government that was trying to have her bail revoked.

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It is not. The Ontario Crown prosecutors’ service is asking a federal judge to declare Ella Lich in violation of her bail conditions and put her back behind bars.

That may not seem like much of a distinction, but it is an error that I should not have made. I’m sorry.

The mistake, of course, undermines a major point I was making in that column – namely, that the federal government is persecuting Lich for having the audacity to challenge their pandemic restrictions in the streets of downtown Ottawa.

The federal Justice Department might well be happy to see the Ontario government trying to end Lich’s freedom, but they are not the ones bringing the motion in court.

However, in another way, the fact that it is Ontario (and not Ottawa) that is going after Lich with such ferocity strengthens a second point I was making: the elites in this country have lost their minds over last winter’s Freedom Convoy.

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Federal, provincial, no matter. Authorities just can’t accept that ordinary people were so fed up with top-down control of their every movement for two years during the pandemic that some blocked our nation’s capital out of sheer frustration. Elites are so sure the convoy was the false front for some giant conspiracy, funded by sinister, international organizations intent on overthrowing Canada’s peace, order and good government, that they are equally intent on punishing Lich in the extreme.

Think about it. As part of her release from custody in early March (after 18 days in jail on comparatively minor charges), Lich had to agree to have nothing to do with the convoy and in no way support its cause.

Since then, all she has done is agreed to accept an award for standing up for Canadians’ constitutional rights presented by the legal advocacy group Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms.

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She hasn’t accepted the award yet. The ceremony is in June.

And the award, although emanating from her work with the convoy, is for her defense of the Charter as she saw it, not for organizing Freedom Convoy 2022.

Our elites have become so paranoid, though, they have forgotten that one of the foundations of democracy is the right to disagree with those in power.

Ontario Assistant Crown Attorney Moiz Karimjee argued in court last Thursday that agreeing to accept an award (even one that hasn’t been given out yet) amounted to support for the convoy. It was, therefore, a violation of her bail agreement that should land Lich back in lockup.

Lich wasn’t tweeting or giving speeches encouraging a second convoy. She wasn’t raising money for a summer blockade of Ottawa. She was merely agreeing to accept an award for her opinions of her.

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Indeed, Crown counsel Karimjee was so belligerent in court about the need to put the convoy organizer back behind bars that the judge cautioned him to maintain decorum, after which Karimjee testily demanded the judge step aside, which is both unusual and odd.

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The convoy ceased to exist in late February, meaning it could be argued it is impossible for anything Lich does now to be in direct support of the non-existent convoy – particularly agreeing to accept a future award.

It is every bit as whacky and conspiratorial for “progressives” in Ottawa and Ontario to continue to insist Russians and white nationalists were behind the Freedom Convoy (despite piles of evidence to the contrary) as it is for those on the far right to imagine the World Economic Forum, World Health Organization and others are plotting one world government to enslave us all in the name of pandemic prevention.

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