Hello, September. Labour Day’s done, the kids are back in school, parents are back at work, as the sweet indolence of summer fades into the chilly reality of fall. Our federal politicians are also back in the saddle, though they get an extra-long break: Parliament returns in two weeks. But in the meantime, a couple of things are happening that will be getting Ottawa’s attention.
The first is the criminal trial of Freedom Convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber. The pair stand co-accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation during the anti-government protests that paralyzed the Nation’s Capital for three weeks in February 2022. The trial is expected to last at least 16 days and will feature evidence including hundreds of social media posts by Lich, Barber and others, and videos that were livestreamed throughout the protest.
The lawyers for Lich and Barber are trying their best to depoliticize the trial. “We do not expect this to be the trial of the Freedom Convoy,” they said in a joint statement. “The central issue will be whether the actions of two of the organizers of a peaceful protest should warrant criminal sanction.”
Good luck with that. The Liberals would very much like this to be the trial of the convoy, to remind the Canadian public of the opposition Conservatives’ support for it. Expect Liberal social media posts of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre handing out coffee to truckers while airhorns blare in the background and a pro-Trump flag flutters in the breeze.