Harold Jonker’s criminal trial for participating in the Freedom Convoy starts May 12, 2025

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Harold Jonker’s criminal trial for participating in the Freedom Convoy starts May 12, 2025

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OTTAWA, ON: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms announces that Harold Jonker’s ten-day criminal trial is set for May 12 to 26, 2025. The trial will take place at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa, Ontario. Jonker has elected to be judged by a jury of his peers, as opposed to judge alone. 

Jonker is charged with mischief, obstructing a roadway, counselling mischief, and counselling obstructing a roadway. All the charges stem from his attendance at the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa in January/February 2022. The Justice Centre is providing support for lawyers for his defence. 

Jonker participated in the Freedom Convoy as a trucker and co-owner of a trucking company. While at the protest, he did not park his truck downtown, but instead parked at the Coventry Road location some distance away. When the protest was cleared by police action starting on February 18, 2022, Jonker was not charged. Between March and May 2022, police investigated Jonker’s actions at the protest, but no charges were laid at the time. 

At the time of the Freedom Convoy, in addition to his trucking business, Jonker was a Town Counsellor for the Township of West Lincoln in the Niagara Region. In July 2022, he was reprimanded by the Town Counsel, who alleged that he violated the town’s Code of Conduct by participating in what they characterized as an illegal protest. He was fined 30-days’ pay. 

Fifteen months after the protest, in May 2023, police charged Jonker criminally. He is alleged: 

  • To have been a “road captain” for the freedom convoy in 2022
  • To have led the Niagara contingent from the Niagara region to Ottawa 
  • To co-own a trucking company (Jonker Trucking)
  • To have brought 10 Jonker Trucking trucks to downtown Ottawa with him

There has been no explanation to date, from either the Crown or in the disclosure, as to why there was this long delay in bringing the charges.  

The most significant change in Jonker’s status, between the initial police investigation in 2022 and the laying of charges in 2023, was that he had been added as the representative defendant of all truckers in the $290,000,000 class action lawsuit brought by residents of Ottawa against the Freedom Convoy, known as Zexi Li et al v. Chris Barber et al. 

Mr. Jonker’s defence team will be alleging an abuse of process due to the lengthy and unexplained pre-charge delay. They will argue that the significant delay has prejudiced Mr. Jonker’s ability to make full answer and defence to the charges.  

Chris Fleury, lawyer for Mr. Jonker says that, “Mr. Jonker and I are looking forward to defending these charges at trial and fervently asserting his innocence. We are also looking forward to cross-examining the Crown witnesses and discovering the reason for the significant and unexplained delay in charging Mr. Jonker.” 

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