After turning himself in on charges related to the convoy protest and occupation in downtown Ottawa, Randy Hillier was released on bail with conditions.
Ottawa police charged the Independent Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP saying they had complaints “about social media posts and other activities of an individual” during the so-called Freedom Convoy.
The charges included assaulting a peace or public officer, two counts of obstructing or resisting a public officer, one count of obstructing or resisting someone aiding a public or peace officer, three counts of counselling an uncommitted indictable offence, two of them considered mischief, and two counts of mischief or obstructing property exceeding $5,000.
Hillier surrendered at Ottawa police headquarters Monday morning and before he walked in, told reporters he was doing so after getting a call from police on Sunday.
During his court appearance Monday, the Crown alleged Hillier used his shoulder and hip to check a Parliamentary Police Officer out of the way after removing a metal gate, as part of an effort to overwhelm protective services in downtown Ottawa during the weeks-long occupation.
He denied assaulting an officer, saying he only greeted people “with love and affection and embrace and handshakes.
“Unless handshakes or warm embraces are now considered assault, I have no idea,” he said.
Released on bail later Monday
A consent release for Hillier had largely been agreed upon by his lawyer and Crown prosecutor Tim Wightman prior to the court proceeding.
The eastern Ontario provincial politician put up $10,000 against his bail. A surety put up $25,000 to ensure Hillier abided by his bail conditions, which includes avoiding the general area of downtown Ottawa and avoiding contact with convoy organizers.
As part of his bail conditions, he is also unable to post on social media about the “Freedom Convoy” and anti-vaccine or mask mandates.
In her decision to release Hillier, Justice of the Peace Louise Logue said it was clear he has a substantial following on social media and “your posting on social media poses a substantial risk.”
She said his bail restrictions would not stop him from performing his duties as an elected member of the legislature.
There were calls for Hillier’s arrest in February when he encouraged people to “keep calling” 911 after Ottawa police warned of a barrage of calls to tie up emergency lines from those expressing displeasure over police actions to clear streets.
Hillier faces other charges for breaking COVID-19 pandemic rules, and he said Monday he’s facing about 25 charges for various COVID protests. The Crown said there were six provincial files against him in Ontario, accrued for alleged violations of the Re-opening of Ontario Act in several cities.
Earlier this month, Hillier said he’s not running for re-election in June in the seat he’s held since 2007.
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