Editor’s note: This file will be updated throughout the day Thursday as the trial continues. For live coverage of the day’s proceedings, follow along with our live blog below.
The cross-examination of the city’s emergency services manager is expected to continue in the criminal trial of convoy protest organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber today.
Kim Ayotte told court Wednesday that the emergency lane on the street along Parliament Hill was blocked by trucks that had chained themselves together during the protest in Ottawa last year. Ayotte said the city and police had planned to keep one lane open for emergency vehicles, but it was “lost” after the first night of the protest.
READ MORE: Trial of accused convoy leaders Lich, Barber | A guide to court coverage
Lich’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, pointed out that Ayotte gave a different answer when asked about emergency lanes last year as part of a federal inquiry into the invocation of the Emergencies Act.
“Mr. Ayotte confirmed that convoy organizers had agreed to maintain an emergency lane and did, for the most part, maintain such a lane throughout the relevant period,” a summary of his interview with the inquiry’s lawyers stated. Ayotte had affirmed the contents of that summary during the inquiry.
Ayotte testified Wednesday that emergency lanes were mostly maintained throughout the rest of the protest zone and that emergency response times were still within set standards.
Ayotte was the senior point person responsible for facilitating a deal between the city and protesters to move trucks out of residential neighbourhoods on Feb. 14 and Feb. 15.
TRIAL CATCH UP: Emergency lane along Parliament lost during convoy protest, court hears
Lich and Barber stand co-accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation for their roles in the weeks-long protest that gridlocked streets in downtown Ottawa and left residents dismayed by its presence through much of January and February 2022. Barber faces an additional charge of counselling others to disobey a court order.