Ontario MPP Randy Hillier conditionally released after arrest

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OTTAWA — Randy Hillier, an independent member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, was released on multiple conditions after turning himself in to Ottawa police on Monday.

OTTAWA — Randy Hillier, an independent member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, was released on multiple conditions after turning himself in to Ottawa police on Monday.

He faces nine counts related to his involvement in the protest that gripped the heart of the nation’s capital last month.

The Crown consented to the Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston member’s release on $35,000 bond after he appeared in court by telephone on Monday afternoon.

Justice of the Peace Louise Logue released him with several conditions, including a ban on posting the so-called freedom convoy protest on social media, mandates for a COVID-19 mask or vaccine, or the cause anti -vaccine.

Hillier arrived at police headquarters early in the morning and told reporters that police informed him on Sunday that charges had been laid and that he understood them to be related to the occupation of downtown ‘Ottawa.

“Dissenting and dissenting opinions are now apparently criminal, so it’s a worrying trend,” the 64-year-old said before walking into the police station.

The nine counts include two counts of obstructing or resisting a public officer, one count of assaulting a peace officer or public officer, and three counts of advising an indictable offense not committed, two of which are considered misdeeds.

Prior to his arrest, Hillier said he had “thousands of interactions” with people and had no idea what led to the charge of assaulting a peace officer or a public official.

“I’ve only greeted people with love and affection, a hug and a handshake, so unless handshakes and warm hugs are now considered aggression, I have no idea. “, did he declare.

Crown attorney Tim Wightman told the court the assault charge dated back to January 29, the first weekend of the protest, when Hillier, People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier and a group of supporters attempted to gain access to Parliament Hill with a megaphone.

The Crown alleged that they were blocked by a metal door and a Parliamentary Protective Service officer attempted to arrest them.

Wightman said Hillier threw the gate out of the way and shouted “let’s go,” in an effort to overwhelm the checkpoint.

When that didn’t work, Hillier used his shoulder and hip to push the officer aside so the group could fight their way, he alleged.

Hillier also encouraged supporters to flood 911 phone lines, limiting police’s ability to respond to emergencies, the Crown said.

The police statement said an investigation began in February after “several complaints” were received regarding an individual’s social media posts and other activities.

Hillier’s next court date is scheduled for May 4.

The protesters arrived in Ottawa the last weekend of January to express their displeasure with public health measures related to COVID-19 and the federal government in general.

Hillier became a familiar face during the three-week protest, as large trucks and throngs of people blocked the streets and filled hearts with the deafening sounds of car horns and the smell of diesel. He appeared at several press conferences in support of the protesters.

Police intervened on February 18, after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, to disperse crowds and reclaim roads around Parliament Hill.

Hillier was first elected to provincial office in 2007, but was removed from the Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus in 2019.

He announced earlier this month that he would not run again in June.

Earlier this month, Twitter suspended Hillier’s account over concerns over his posting of what the social media platform considered misleading and potentially dangerous information about COVID-19.

During the pandemic, Hillier frequently posted misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and was fined for allegedly breaking public health rules. He also called Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra a terrorist and called public health measures “fascism”.

The Ontario Legislature first passed a unanimous motion condemning Hillier’s “disreputable conduct” after he published the names and photos of deceased people to suggest without evidence that they had died as a result of the coronavirus vaccination. COVID-19.

He later apologized, but the Legislature condemned him again and authorized the Speaker not to recognize Hillier for what Government House Leader Paul Calandra called racist and discriminatory statements to About Alghabra.

Hillier denied that his posts calling Alghabra a terrorist were racist, as he did not refer to Alghabra’s religion or ethnicity.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 28, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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