Event organizer

Freedom Convoy organizer calls $300 million class action lawsuit a joke

Jason LeFaci of Sudbury, Ont., has been named in a lawsuit brought by Ottawa residents and businesses affected by the protest

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A Sudbury organizer of the Freedom Convoy, which took place earlier this year and shut down parts of downtown Ottawa, has been named in a $300 million class action lawsuit.

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Jason LeFaci, who is running for the Ontario Party in the riding of Sudbury as Jason LaFace, said this week he had little respect for the lawsuit and was not considering compensation the complainants.

“To me, this trial is a joke,” he said. The Sudbury Star. “People who put this together really need to shake their heads.”

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LeFaci said “everything they claim is a lie”.

None of the lawsuit’s allegations have been proven in court.

He said the protests he participated in were peaceful. He said that once his team arrived in Ottawa, “the city was already on lockdown and businesses were shut down.”

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A Freedom Convoy rig is towed on Sunday as city workers restore the area around Parliament Hill to normal.
A Freedom Convoy rig is towed on Sunday as city workers restore the area around Parliament Hill to normal. Photo by ASHLEY FRASER, POSTMEDIA

LeFaci is one of 20 people listed in a class action filed recently by the Ottawa firm, Champ and Associates. LeFaci is the only person from Northern Ontario to be named as a defendant.

The lawsuit was brought to repair “the serious harm and loss suffered by residents, businesses and workers in downtown Ottawa as a result of the occupation of the Freedom Convoy,” the website states.

Four plaintiffs are named, but they represent thousands of people affected, including about 12,000 residents, a few hundred businesses and up to 800 employees who work downtown. They are seeking $306 million in damages, plus legal fees and HST.

“The defendants deliberately planned and coordinated tactics to block all streets and roads around Parliament Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods, and to cause as much noise and air pollution as possible to cause discomfort. and distress to Ottawa residents, businesses and workers to compel governments to comply with their demands,” the lawsuit website reads. “The non-stop honking of car horns, diesel fumes, unexpected fireworks and noisy public address systems have caused residents unbearable torment in the sanctity of their own homes.

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“The defendants are aware or should be aware that these tactics can cause permanent physical damage and psychological damage. The defendants acted with complete disregard for the residents, businesses and workers of Ottawa. Canada is a free and democratic society with a long tradition of peaceful protest and assembly. The defendants abused these freedoms to cause serious harm to others, innocent bystanders of the defendants’ pursuit of their misguided political aims. »

A class action aims to recover damages suffered by people who
A class action lawsuit seeks to recover damages suffered by people who “live, work or do business” in what is known as the Freedom Convoy occupation zone. Photo by Champ & Associates

LeFaci, however, has no sympathy for the plaintiffs.

“You won’t get me a penny, but come on, you can try,” he joked. “I think it’s a joke. It’s hilarious. They are radical leftists who have lost their minds. They need serious mental health help.

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LeFaci said the convoy participants were not trying to overthrow the government and did not participate in an illegal protest.

“We were trying to get the governor general to say, ‘Look, we have a prime minister and a caucus in power right now who are breaking the law,'” he explained.

Paul Champ, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said there were more than 400 tractor-trailers “parked and idling non-stop during that three-week period, and also honking their horns for long periods of time, from early morning see you late at night.”

Horns were a particular nuisance, Champ said. They were used to “make life miserable” for residents of downtown Ottawa “in hopes of pressuring political leaders to submit to protesters’ demands.”

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Parking a tractor-trailer in front of a private house, idling it all day and night and honking the horn “for 10 minutes straight every half hour from 7 a.m. to midnight is neither peaceful nor legal,” commented Champ.

Some residents still struggle with tinnitus and hearing problems, he added.

While Ontario dropped many of its indoor dining restrictions on Monday, many restaurants in downtown Ottawa were still forced to remain closed due to the continued presence of holdouts from the Freedom Convoy 2022 blocking the heart.
While Ontario dropped many of its indoor dining restrictions on Monday, many restaurants in downtown Ottawa were still forced to remain closed due to the continued presence of holdouts from the Freedom Convoy 2022 blocking the heart. Photo by REUTERS/Blair Gable

As the nation’s capital, Champ said residents and businesses are used to protests and mass gatherings, but the convoy protest was “way beyond limits.” It was intended to harm residents of downtown Ottawa by using trucks as a form of intimidation.

The tactics employed by the protesters were not appreciated by the locals. Once the dust settled on the freedom convoy, Champ said these tactics essentially undermined the cause by antagonizing locals against the movement.

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The named defendants were the organizers of the Freedom Convoy. LeFaci is accused of being a road captain, which means he was responsible “for organizing a large group of truckers in northern Ontario, driving them through the streets of downtown Ottawa, then he played a role in logistics, ensuring the truckers he drove to Ottawa stocked up on diesel fuel and food, so they could stay put, blocking Ottawa streets, idling their trucks with diesel fumes non-stop for three weeks and blasting their horns.

Champ said his team was in the process of naming all the truckers who were on the ground during the protest. He said they identified all the leaders and about 75% of the rest.

“Once we are done identifying them all, we will amend the claim to add them to the claim and seek to have this class action certified, ideally in early 2023,” Champ said.

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