A charge against former MPP Mr. Randy Hillier relating to a May 2021 protest in Barrie has been stayed by the Court. Mr. Hillier was charged with breaching a Covid order issued under the Reopening Ontario Act. The Crown stayed the charge on January 3rd, 2023.
The Ontario Government declared a state of emergency in April 2021 due to the rising number of cases of Covid 19 in the province. It issued a “stay-at-home” Order that banned public gatherings, with very limited exceptions. The Order effectively criminalized public protests.
Mr. Hillier was alleged to have attended the Barrie protest when he was still a MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston. Mr. Hillier was a vocal opponent of lockdowns and stay-at-home Orders during his tenure as MPP, which is why he was invited to speak at the protest.
Breaches of orders under the Reopening Ontario Act carry the potential consequences of fines of $100,000.00 and/or a one-year jail sentence.
Mr. Hillier’s counsel Christopher Fleury says that his client is pleased with this outcome and will continue to aggressively fight the similar charges that he is facing across the Province. As part of his overall litigation strategy, Mr. Hillier has brought a Charter application in the Ontario Superior Court seeking to have various Orders made under the Reopening Ontario Act declared contrary to the Charter. The Court is scheduled to hear oral submissions in that case on July 27-28, 2023.