Ottawa, March 28: Independent MPP Randy Hillier has surrendered to Ottawa police to face charges in relation to his conduct during the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests last month.
Hillier, 64, arrived at Ottawa police headquarters early Monday morning. Police said he faces nine charges, including assaulting a peace officer.
Hillier, the MPP for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, told reporters outside the station that police called him Sunday morning and told him about the charges.
Police confirmed the charges Monday morning: two counts each of obstructing a public officer, counselling mischief and mischief/obstructing property over $5,000.
He is also charged with obstructing a person aiding a peace officer, assaulting a peace or public officer and counselling an uncommitted indictable offence.
Ottawa police said in a release they started their investigation after receiving “multiple complaints about social media posts and other activities of an individual as part of the ongoing illegal protests.”
Hillier has spoken out against COVID-19 public health measures and vaccine mandates and was a prominent voice during the convoy protest that occupied downtown Ottawa for three weeks. He was suspended from Twitter earlier this month for violating Twitter’s COVID-19 vaccine misinformation policy.
Hillier denied assaulting a police officer, saying he doesn’t know where that charge is coming from.
“I had thousands of interactions. I only ever greeted people in with love and affection and embraces and handshakes,” he said. “Unless handshakes and warm embraces are now considered assault…I have no idea.”
He is due to appear in court on Monday. A statement issued by his office later Monday said Hillier looks forward to the opportunity to defend himself against the charges.
The statement also accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of leading Canada “down a path of political intimidation and gangsterism.”
Hillier is also facing previous charges stemming from protests he organized last year in relation to COVID-19 public health measures. He told reporters Monday that he is facing 25 charges in relation to those rallies, which could result in $2.5 million in fines and 25 years in jail if he’s found guilty.
Hillier was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2007. He was permanently kicked out of the Conservative caucus in 2019 and is not running for re-election this year.