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Un class action against organizers of truckers' convoy moves forward

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Judge authorizes 300 million class action $ against the organizers of the truckers' convoy. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

A class action worth 300 million of dollars filed against protesters, donors and organizers of the truckers' convoy on behalf of residents and businesses in downtown Ottawa can move forward. A judge rejected the defendants' request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Last December, Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod heard arguments from both sides. The case pitted the right of individuals to use their property and public highways against the right of protesters to voice their grievances using pressure tactics against the government.

Lawyers representing the interests of the truckers' convoy, including organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, had argued in particular that political expression is fundamental to society, that their use of free speech was in the public interest and the plaintiffs did not meet the threshold required to pursue legal action.

In his decision released Tuesday, however, Judge MacLeod sided with residents and business owners and denied the motion to dismiss the class action, writing in his ruling that the plaintiffs had a meritorious case. /p>

There is evidence that some plaintiffs were subjected to what they claim were extreme amounts of noise, honking horns, incessant diesel fumes and other pollution, street blockades and intimidation. There is evidence that the plaintiffs had difficulty accessing their properties and that [the merchants'] business was disrupted, the decision states.

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The convoy of truckers in Ottawa, the morning of Sunday, February 6

The action includes several thousand potential plaintiffs who reside in an area stretching from west of Bronson Avenue to Booth Street, to include the LeBreton Flats buildings. In the ByWard Market, the zone includes the area located north of Saint-Patrick Street, up to Boteler Street.

While Recognizing that the defendants deny having a common intention to block streets or put pressure on the government by causing hardship to residents, the judge wrote that it could be concluded that disrupting daily life in the downtown was what the organizers and participants of the truckers' convoy were looking for.

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Paul Champ, the lawyer who is bringing the class action on behalf of residents and traders in the capital, said he was satisfied with the result by press release.

We remain committed to obtaining justice and redress for the residents of downtown Ottawa.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The truckers' convoy and its supporters paralyzed the city center for several weeks in early 2022, demanding the abandonment of health measures linked to COVID-19.< /p>

With information from David Fraser of CBC News

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