The charges against Steven Vardy for alleged mischief have been dismissed by the Ontario Court of Justice following a trial in Ottawa on August 29 and 30, 2023.
On February 19, 2022, five days after Prime Minister Trudeau had designated the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa a “national emergency,” Mr. Vardy was departing the downtown core of Ottawa in his car. He was stopped by a police officer. After allegedly failing to produce his identification documents, Mr. Vardy was arrested and charged with obstructing a public officer in the execution of his duties. Later, authorities conducted a search of Mr. Vardy’s social media activities and discovered video footage of events occurring at the Freedom Convoy, whereupon an additional charge of mischief was filed against him. Mr. Vardy asserted his innocence of all charges.
A trial for Mr. Vardy took place at the Ottawa Courthouse in downtown Ottawa on August 29 and 30, 2023. Prior to trial, the obstruction charge was withdrawn at the request of the Crown Prosecutor. At trial, the judge determined that the Crown could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the person speaking in the social media videos was Mr. Vardy himself. Further, the judge determined that, even if Mr. Vardy was the person speaking in the videos, narrating the events occurring in Ottawa did not amount to criminal mischief. All charges against Mr. Vardy have now been dismissed.
Lawyer Chris Fleury stated, “After almost 18 months of waiting, my client and I are thrilled with this result. We are pleased that the Court agreed with us that the alleged conduct did not amount to mischief and that Mr. Vardy can finally put these charges behind him.”
Justice Centre President John Carpay stated, “We are proud to have been able to support Mr. Vardy through this difficult ordeal, as well as supporting so many other courageous Canadians who peacefully exercised their Charter rights and freedoms in the face of unjust and unscientific lockdown measures imposed on Canadians by their own governments.”