Injunction hearing to stop convoy protesters honking downtown adjourned until Monday

By CityNews Staff

The battle to end the week-long conflict with protesters opposed to vaccines and other restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 moved to the legal arena.

Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Saturday, February 5 to argue a class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of downtown Ottawa residents.

The lawsuit is seeking millions of dollars in damages and an injunction “prohibiting the continuation of the nuisance.''

Champ appeared in an online court hearing on behalf of the proposed members of the action – all people who reside in Ottawa from Bay Street to Elgin Street and Lisgar Street to Wellington Street.

The statement of claim names protest organizers Tamara Lich, Patrick King, Chris Barber and others as defendants but has not been proven in court.

The lawyer for the defendants, Keith Wilson, said organizers are willing to limit honking between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Justice Hugh McLean said that was not a good solution, instead suggesting the truckers agree to only honking at noon or something similar.

The statement of claim says people have suffered injury and damages for emotional and mental distress, difficulty concentrating, interference with quiet enjoyment of home, headaches and difficulty sleeping.

It is seeking $100 per day for each person that has suffered from the protesters' tactics.

“Dear Ottawa residents, you don't have to formally join the truck horn class. If you live in the area, you are automatically members. For those contacting me because they want the area expanded because the trucks are honking there too, we will look at that soon,'' Champ said in a Saturday Twitter post.

“The incessant blaring of the high decibel air horns and train horns substantially interferes with the private use and enjoyment of the Class Members' homes,” the lawsuit's statement of claim reads. “The conduct is totally unreasonable and unjustified.''

Another hearing is scheduled for Monday, February 7 to give more time to Wilson to prepare a defence. 

In the meantime, Justice McLean suggested both sides work out a solution.

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