In day 10 of the Freedom Convoy trial, Judge Heather Perkins-McVey had to ask a prosecution witness to leave the courtroom twice in order to clarify how the Crown wanted to proceed with his testimony.
Tamara Lich and Chris Barber Lich are charged with mischief, counseling others to commit mischief, intimidation and obstructing police as leaders of the Freedom Convoy that polarized residents of Ottawa in February 2022 and arguably began to roll back Covid mandates across Canada.
The prosecution brought Kim Ayotte to the stand Tuesday, who was the general manager of Ottawa’s Emergency Protective Services and was so during the Freedom Convoy protest.
Ayotte described his function with the city as one of “consequence management,” which he said meant dealing with the consequences of emergencies.
But defense counsel Lawrence Greenspon was quick to question Ayotte’s ability to answer questions because he arrived at the courthouse without any documents in his possession.
“I can’t imagine Mr. Ayotte showed up in court today without consulting his notes,” Greenspon said.
Perkins-McVey also expressed her concern that Ayotte would be unable to determine “what piece of information you received first-hand” and what was second-hand.
Ayotte admitted that he did not have that information “on the top of my head.”
The municipal worker also said that he believed he was in court on this day to “just tell what my job was.”
The judge responded, “Oh, no, no, no.”
Perkins-McVey eventually decided that Ayotte should not continue his testimony without the benefit of notes, even though he had previously testified before a commission examining the Freedom Convoy because that testimony was “irrelevant … to this trial, which is a criminal trial.”
During a lunchtime scrum, Greenspon told The Post Millennial that he had “no idea” why Ayotte would appear without any documentation.
“His evidence is important and he’s going to need those notes in order to get the details of the various conversations that he had, the meetings that he attended and the actions that he took. “
Greenspon is also continuing to object to the prosecuting parading up to eight Ottawa residents as witnesses in the trial, maintaining their testimony won’t contribute to a verdict in this case.
Greenspon said the witness statements are extremely short on details and nobody could say “who was honking his horn between this time at that time and if the license plate on a truck” had anything to do with the driver’s participation in the protest.
“What possible evidence could these impact witnesses have? If they are not any level of government, whether agents or employees? And the answer is none. Nothing,” Greenspon said.