FILE – The Canadian flag is reflected in a wheel hub as demonstrators against a vaccine mandate for truckers and other pandemic restrictions gather in a truck convoy blocking the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing near Coutts, Alta., on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bail decision reserved for blockade protester
Published 12:27 PST, Tue March 1, 2022
Last Updated: 2:09 PST, Tue March 1, 2022
LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA – A judge reserved his decision Tuesday on bail for one of four people charged with conspiracy to commit murder after arrests at last month's border blockade at Coutts, Alta.
Christopher Lysak, 48, appeared by video at a bail hearing from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.
Lysak was also charged Feb. 14 with uttering threats, possession of a weapon and mischief to property over $5,000.
A publication ban prohibits releasing any details from the bail hearing.
Justice Vaughan Hartigan of Court of Queen's Bench set the matter over to Wednesday and said he hoped to have a decision at that time.
Thirteen people were charged after RCMP found a cache of 13 long guns, handguns, body armour, large amounts of ammunition and high-capacity magazines in three trailers.
Two tactical vests seized had badges on them, which the Canadian Anti-Hate Network said have links to troubling movements.
One vest had a "Diagolon" patch on it, a white diagonal line across a black rectangle, that the network says is linked to an often conspiratorial and antisemitic group.
RCMP also said a semi-truck and farm tractor had attempted to ram a police cruiser.
Police said the threat was "very serious" and the group was willing to use force if the blockade was disrupted.
"The dangerous criminal activity occurring away from the TV cameras and social media posts was real and organized," RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, commanding officer of Alberta RCMP, said after the arrests.
"It could have been deadly for citizens, protesters and officers."
The blockade, which ended at Coutts on Feb. 16, was one of several demonstrations in Canadian cities and border points that stalled trade, stranded travellers and disrupted lives of area residents, particularly in Ottawa.
Protesters had been restricting access to the busy crossing near Coutts since Jan. 29 to rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers and broader pandemic public health restrictions.
– Bill Graveland, Canadian Press