The Ottawa Police Service Monday arrested a member of Ontario’s provincial parliament for his participation in the “Freedom Convoy” protests in February, according to a statement.
Randall Hillier represents Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, an area east of Toronto at the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River. The Ottawa police said they began receiving complaints about “social media posts and other activities of an individual” during the protests in February. After an investigation, the Criminal Investigations Unit charged Hillier with two counts of mischief or obstructing property exceeding $5,000, one count of obstructing or resisting someone aiding a public or peace officer, two counts of obstructing or resisting a public officer and one count of assaulting a peace or public officer.
Hillier turned himself in on Monday and was released on bail, the CBC reported. Prior to surrendering himself outside police headquarters, Hillier denied having assaulted an officer.
The CBC said Hillier put up $10,000 against his bail. A surety put up $25,000 to ensure he abides by his bail conditions, which includes avoiding the general Ottawa downtown area, refraining from contacting convoy organizers and not posting on social media about the convoy or anti-vaccine or mask mandates.
The Freedom Convoy was a protest against Canada’s vaccine and mask mandates that culminated with protesters descending on the nation’s capital in Ottawa, blocking streets and disrupting city functions. Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on February 11, and police swept through the city to clear protesters ten days later.