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Mischief charge withdrawn in Ambassador Bridge blockade case

The blockade at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., which attaches to Michigan and cost millions of dollars in lost revenue, pictured in a 2022 file photo.  (Mike Evans/CBC - image credit)
The blockade at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., which attaches to Michigan and cost millions of dollars in lost revenue, pictured in a 2022 file photo. (Mike Evans/CBC - image credit)

Another protester who had been facing charges of mischief and disobeying a court order related to the Ambassador Bridge blockade in 2022 had charges withdrawn last week, The Democracy Fund says.

The charges against the man were withdrawn under the "alternative measures" process, which does not result in a determination of guilt, but does require an acknowledgement of responsibility. The individual made a $500 donation to the Chatham-Kent Hospice Foundation, according to a media statement released by The Democracy Fund.

The Democracy Fund is a charity founded in 2021 that "promotes constructional rights through litigation and public education and supports access-to-justice initiatives for "Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed upon by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic."

The move to drop charges in this case came before a scheduled two-day trial due to start in April.

According to the individual's lawyer, the man had been crossing the street with his wife when arrested during the protests.

"The right to protest is a foundational democratic right in Canada," said Adam Blake-Gallipeau, lawyer for the individual in this case. "In many cases, we argue that this right has been violated. We will continue to defend individual rights and freedoms."

The Democracy Fund has represented 13 clients who were criminally charged in connection to the Ambassador Bridge blockade and Freedom convoy protests. 

"All of those clients have either had their charges withdrawn or discharged, with the exception of one client who was convicted and sentenced to probation," The Democracy Fund wrote in a media statement, noting it was appealing that decision.

On Feb. 7, 2022, truck drivers and other people protesting COVID-19 measures arrived at the main entrance and exit of the Ambassador Bridge. They blocked traffic in both directions even after a court injunction was issued instructing protesters to clear out and the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act with the same goal.

Windsor police previously said at least 46 people faced 90 charges following the Ambassador Bridge blockade.

Another mischief charge against one of two people accused of organizing the protest at the Ambassador Bridge was withdrawn in November.