from the pages of the Honourable A. Brian Peckford

September 14, 2023



The defence of Otawa truck convoy organizer Chris Barber played video of former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford in court on Thursday in which the past politician spoke about freedom and Charter rights during demonstrations in early 2022.

Mr. Barber’s legal team wants to paint a more peaceful picture of their client, who is on trial for a series of criminal charges, along with fellow truck convoy organizer Tamara Lich.

Mr. Barber and Ms. Lich have been charged with obstruction of police, mischief and intimidation, as well as one charge of counselling for each of those three offences. In addition, Mr. Barber faces a charge of counselling others to disobey a court order.

The pair’s charges stem from their organization of a protest that saw big rig trucks bring traffic in downtown Ottawa to a standstill at the end of January, 2022. The vehicles remained in place for more than three weeks despite calls from police to vacate the area. Ultimately, officers had to move on protesters, in one of the biggest police responses in Canadian history.

Mr. Barber’s defence played a video in court from Feb. 14, 2022, in which Mr. Peckford could be heard stating “hold the line.”

The words “hold the line” are considered central to the trial. The Crown has described them as the rallying call of Mr. Barber and Ms. Lich.

Speaking to reporters outside of the courthouse, defence lawyer Diane Magas said videos with Mr. Peckford are considered “very significant.” Mr. Peckford was involved in a process in the 1980s that lead to the Constitution Act of 1982.

“There’s different interpretations for the words ‘hold the line,’” she said.

Ms. Magas said Mr. Peckford’s presence in Ottawa lends legitimacy to the demonstrations, as well as showing the lawfulness of them. She said part of the defence of her client will include a look at the state of mind of the demonstrators in Ottawa.

Ms. Magas also said videos show Mr. Barber repeatedly calling for other demonstrators to remain peaceful.

Another lawyer representing Mr. Barber, Marwa Younes, played a video from Mr. Barber’s TikTok account from Feb. 3, 2022, in which Mr. Barber said an individual who burned the Canadian flag can “go home” and added: “We don’t need you here.”

TikTok videos were played in court as part of the cross-examination of Ottawa Police Sergeant Joanne Pilotte, a Crown witness.

Another video from Feb. 5, 2022, shows Mr. Barber walking near Parliament Hill. In it, he points to people making “warm food” and states “this is love.” Mr. Barber also said in the recording that the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe had “messed up.”

Millions of dollars were collected for the Ottawa truck convoy through GoFundMe in early 2022. The platform later cancelled the campaign. The online fundraising platform has since confirmed it returned all funds to the donors.

Earlier this week, a series of videos from Mr. Barber’s TikTok account collected by Sgt. Pilotte were played in court. Some of the content included Mr. Barber’s and Ms. Lich’s arrests.

At present, all of the recordings are considered part of a voir dire – a trial within a trial – to determine whether they will become admissible as evidence.

Throughout proceedings, prosecutors plan to argue Mr. Barber and Ms. Lich not only told supporters to “hold the line” during demonstrations in Ottawa last year, but that they “crossed the line” and committed crimes.

Ms. Lich’s and Mr. Barber’s defence teams reject this and say their clients participated in peaceful protest.

Source: Globe and Mail Newspaper

Yes , I said it as Canadian Press and CTV Reports “ Hold the line,’ means different things to different people: ‘Freedom Convoy’ defence. ‘ And It Meant Stand Firm In Your Peaceful Protest!!!

Judge considers limiting testimony at convoy trial

Updated Sept. 14, 2023 2:16 p.m. PDT

Published Sept. 14, 2023 3:43 a.m. PDT

OTTAWA – The lawyer for one of the most prominent organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” disputed the meaning of a key phrase used by demonstrators in the final days of the protest.

The words “Hold the line” were frequently heard on the streets in Ottawa in February 2022, and were played in court over and over as the Crown took showed social media videos from the protest this week.

Many of those videos featured Chris Barber and his co-accused, Tamara Lich, who are both facing criminal charges for their role in the protest.

In the Crown’s opening statement, prosecutor Tim Radcliffe said the two organizers didn’t just “hold the line,” they “crossed the line” into criminal activity by encouraging people to stay in Ottawa as police ordered protesters to leave.

“There’s different interpretations for the words ‘Hold the line,”‘ Barber’s defence lawyer, Diane Magas, said outside the courthouse Thursday.

She has not yet made that argument formally before the court, and isn’t expected to until the end of the trial.

To set the stage for that argument, Barber’s defence team showed a TikTok video in court Thursday of former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford, who also used the phrase during the protest.

Peckford is the only living first minister who was involved in the agreement to patriate and update the Canadian Constitution in the early 1980s.

“ We’re going to determine the future course of our country so that every single person who lives in this country has the individual rights and freedoms that they not only deserve, but have under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Peckford said in the video, which was posted on Feb. 14.

“Hold the line.”

The video was posted the same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a public order emergency that granted extraordinary powers to police, banks and governments.

The defence will argue Peckford was not suggesting anything illegal with his words, Magas said.

“We’re going to be arguing that there’s inferences of lawful protesting behind those words for the former premier.”

The defence also showed the court a video of a speech Peckford gave during the protest about preserving Canadian rights and freedoms. He spoke on a stage erected by protesters on Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill in a move that Magas said lends legitimacy to the demonstration.

Peckford was not the only person lending advice and support to the protest in the videos watched in court Thursday.

Lawyer Keith Wilson, who represented Lich, Barber and other core organizers during the protest, was seen encouraging more protesters to come to Ottawa in response to the federal invocation of the Emergencies Act.

In a video posted on Feb. 15, Wilson said it appeared the police would use violence against the protesters, and said one way to stop that from happening was to have concerned Canadians “come to Ottawa as soon as you can get here.”

In another post from Feb. 10, Conservative MPs Cheryl Gallant and Arnold Viersen encouraged people to come to Ottawa to join the protest and experience what they described as a festival-like atmosphere.

In its cross-examination of the officer tasked with compiling social media videos of the protest, the defence showcased a more peaceful side of the demonstration.

Many of them show Barber calling for peaceful behaviour, talking about the loving nature of the crowd, and thanking police for ensuring public safety.

They were initially posted to Barber’s TikTok account and the “Freedom Convoy 2022” Facebook page.

The snippets on display Thursday were a contrast to the ones shown this week by the Crown, which is trying to make the case that Lich and Barber exerted influence and control over a protest that was not peaceful.

Lich’s defence team showed a video of her discouraging violence during the protest.

“We will be peaceful and we will not instigate anything,” she said in a tearful video posted on Jan. 29.

Lich’s lawyer, Eric Granger, confirmed that the phrase “hold the line” was also used in social media posts by other people and groups the police were keeping an eye on during the convoy.

Some of the videos shown Thursday were part of the package compiled by Pilotte, but several of the videos shown by the defence were not downloaded by police as part of their investigation.

Pilotte told the court she was directed to download certain videos by an Ottawa police detective as part of the investigation, and did not choose them herself.

None of the Facebook videos are considered evidence in the case yet. The defence plans to argue those videos should not be admitted as evidence, and has told Justice Heather Perkins-McVey that the case is not a trial for the entire “Freedom Convoy,” but rather the specific actions of the two accused.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2023.

And My Comments in the Heading ——-Brian Peckford 




  1. These people globalist run are all doing exactly to Tamara what they are doing to people for Jan 6, saying it was an insurrection, lies….Trudeau needs to take the big lead biscuit…he is the biggest loser even his own kind do not respect him.

    His wife saw the handwriting on the wall and got out when she could to write a gold digger best seller.