OTTAWA: The Justice Centre will be in court today in Ottawa, representing key leaders and organizers of the truckers’ Freedom Convoy, to oppose an application by 21-year-old Ottawa government worker Zexi Li, who has launched a $10-milion lawsuit against the Freedom Convoy for damages allegedly caused by the honking of horns.
At the time this lawsuit was launched, the trucker’s GoFundMe had reached $10-million in donations to cover fuel, accommodation and other necessary expenses of truckers, who drove from as far away as BC to join the protest against vaccine mandates. The Justice Centre does not represent every individual trucker currently in Ottawa.
Ms. Li, in her lawsuit, claims that even when there is no honking, she is “unable to enjoy the relative quiet because she becomes riddled with anxious anticipation for the moment it will start up again. The Plaintiff has found this anxious anticipation almost as unbearable as the sounds of the horns themselves.”
This application for an injunction also states that Ms. Li has been subject to “trauma” and “is fearful every time she ventures outside. She does not leave her residence without first inserting noise-cancelling headphones into her ears.”
Named in the lawsuit are four Freedom Convoy organizers, only some of whom are represented by the Justice Centre, and up to 60 big rig drivers with unknown names. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop “unbearable torment” of the protest traffic in downtown Ottawa.
Bouncy castles for the kids, farmers with their tractors, cowboys on their horses, impromptu street hockey, protestors shoveling snow and feeding the homeless, live music, and flags from all nations and protests have been captured in thousands of videos and photographs from the Freedom Convoy, in addition to horn-honking.
A more realistic picture of what is happening in Ottawa will soon be revealed by sworn affidavits filed in this court application. The Freedom Convoy has been working closely with the Ottawa Police Service, the RCMP, and the Parliamentary Protective Service. It was one of the Freedom Convoy truckers who last week reported to police a property damage offence and an assault, committed by individuals not affiliated with the truckers. Convoy leaders have asked all truckers to refrain from honking their horns between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
One of the witnesses in the court action has stated under oath, “I do not control the truckers and other participants in the current protest in Ottawa. I do not own or posses a semi-truck or truck.”
One of the witnesses in the court action has stated under oath that truckers and their supporters “are feeding the homeless on Wellington Street and filling their backpacks with food. Truckers have taken a whole trailer full of food to the homeless shelter. Truckers are maintaining the cleanliness of city streets, including picking up discarded masks on the ground, centralized garbage collection, shoveling snow at the War Memorial and the Terry Fox statue, and decorating and providing security for the War Memorial and Terry Fox statue.”
An Ottawa resident states in a sworn affidavit that “the truckers I have interacted with have, at all times, been friendly, courteous, humble, considerate and peaceful. I have not observed any aggressive or inappropriate behaviours.” He says the truckers are diverse, including Sikhs, Blacks, Aboriginals and others. He has “observed truckers decorating the tomb of the unknown soldier with flowers and guarding it” and has “not seen any violent or threatening behaviour.” He notes that “the truckers do not honk their horns at night. My everyday life has not been disrupted by any noise related to the Freedom Convoy during the day.” He further asserts under oath that “My ability to park and to travel in downtown Ottawa, or to and from Parliament Hill has not been impeded by the presence of the truckers.”
Another Ottawa resident, who works for Statistics Canada, describes reality on the ground as follows: “The protesters were peaceful and respectful, I saw no violence or harassment. I was not impeded in any way, and could walk about freely and safely. I did not see any hateful symbols, in fact, I saw an abundance of Canada flags and Quebec flags as well as countless signs calling for freedom and the end of Covid related mandates. I did see some anti-Trudeau flags using harsh language. However, I would describe the scene as a peaceful, pro-freedom demonstration.
This Ottawa resident reports that “there were dozens of trucks along Wellington street. They would intermittently sound their horns but it was not constant. Many people walked the streets peacefully protesting. Many of them carried Canada flags and signs. It was a peaceful and fun atmosphere with dancing and public speakers taking turns at a microphone while people listened on. I did not observe anyone being harassed or intimidated. I felt totally safe.” Having passed by the Terry Fox statue in from of Parliament Hill on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, he states: “Contrary to what I have seen in the media, I did not see that the Terry Fox statue was desecrated or defaced in any way. In fact, I saw flowers at the feet of the statue as demonstrators walked by. My everyday life has not been disrupted by any noise related to the downtown demonstrations. I do not hear any honking near my home. The only honking I have heard is on Wellington Street, particularly across from Parliament Hill.”
“The right to peacefully protest is a fundamental right protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Governments across Canada have ignored Canadians, and bypassed their elected representatives in the passage of health and vaccination mandates which strip people of their jobs and civil liberties,” says Jay Cameron, Justice Centre Litigation Director.
“People are tired of being ignored by the indifferent elite. The lack of meaningful democracy means citizens have no voice regarding health mandates. They have a right to peacefully protest and have their voices heard,” adds Mr. Cameron.