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Freedom Convoy leaders’ lawyers argue there are five major ‘gaps’ in Crown’s case

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

These gaps include ‘the Crown treating the events as a single protest,’ a ‘failure to address the presumption of innocence,’ and an ‘oversimplification of evidence,’ among other things, the Democracy Fund noted

On day 32 of the trial against Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, the defense counsel for the leaders exposed gaps in the Crown’s main argument that the protests were unlawful even though there was no violence during the demonstrations against COVID mandates that took place in early 2022.  

Per a day 32 trial update from the Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, Crown lawyers in court last Friday tried to argue that certain text message exchanges from Barber to Pat King, a protestor not related to the main Freedom Convoy, “pointed to a common unlawful purpose” between them.

Counsel for Lich, Eric Granger, identified five gaps in the Crown’s arguments.  

“These gaps included the Crown treating the events as a single protest, a failure to address the presumption of innocence, an oversimplification of evidence, misattributing the common design, and erroneously assuming collaboration between Lich and Barber for an unlawful purpose,” stated TDF. 

Granger also made an argument against the Crown’s assertion “that the absence of violence or peaceful nature of the protest didn’t make it lawful, emphasizing that the onus was on the Crown to prove the protest’s unlawfulness.” 

When it comes to charges against Lich for blocking streets and roadways, TDF noted that Granger “maintained that these actions could be criminal only if done wrongfully or without police authorization.” 

The reality is that Lich and Barber worked with police on many occasions so that the protests were within the law.  

Thus far, counsel for the Freedom Convoy leaders have been detailing to the court how text message exchanges from one of the leaders showed he was trying to ensure protesters were as respectful as possible and that he wanted to work with police. 

The Crown in court has been holding steadfast to the notion in trying to prove that Lich and Barber had somehow influenced the protesters’ actions through their words as part of a co-conspiracy. This claim has been rejected by the defense as weak. 

TDF has said that a Carter application is very “complicated” and requires that the Crown prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there was a “conspiracy or plan in place and that Lich was a party to it based on direct evidence,” and as such, the defense is asking the judge to dismiss the application.

Crown hints it might want to change its ‘position’  

On Friday in court the Crown hinted that it might be looking to change its position ahead of its Carter application.  

Defense counsel for Barber, Diane Magas, as noted by TDF, “stood and informed the court of an email received from the Crown the previous night after 10:54 pm.” 

“The email hinted at a potential change in the Crown’s position ahead of the Carter application, pending its progression. Magas emphasized the importance for the defense to be informed about the case to meet concerning the Carter application,” noted TDF. 

An agreement was reached between the Crown lawyers and Judge Heather Perkins-McVey. 

Magas, when she spoke before the court on Friday, also made a point to highlight her “disagreement with the Crown’s stance on the absence of violence as only an aggravating factor.” 

“She clarified that an assembly becomes unlawful only if the peace is disturbed tumultuously,” noted TDF. 

As for Granger, he emphasized that the Crown “failed to demonstrate a common unlawful purpose.”  

On Day 31 of the trial government lawyers attempted to paint the two as heading a kind of “occupation” in Ottawa, an assertion the leaders’ lawyers swiftly rejected. 

During Day 29, Lich’s legal counsel argued that her use of the rallying cry “hold the line” during the 2022 protests did not imply she was calling for people to engage in illegal activity. 

In court last week, however, Perkins-McVey reminded the Crown that not everyone involved in the Freedom Convoy was working together. The Crown agreed this was the case. 

Lich and Barber are facing multiple charges from the 2022 protests, including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police for taking part in and organizing the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before she was granted bail. 

In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government enacted the Emergencies Act on February 14. 

During the clear-out of protesters after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse, and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister. 

Lich and Barber’s trial has thus far taken more time than originally planned. LifeSiteNews has been covering the trial extensively. 

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Brownstone Institute

New Report Details Horrifying Cost of Fauci’s Failures

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Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

From the Brownstone Institute

BY Ian MillerIAN MILLER 

DeSantis followed the actual science, listened to competent outside expert advisors, and as a result, when compared to other major states, Florida is set to massively benefit in the future. It is yet again another clear indictment of the blue states that chose to follow the Fauci blueprint into economic disaster.

In the post-pandemic period of Covid, there’s now a concerted effort to comprehend and explain the damage that was caused by our capitulating to the hysterical overreaction and overreach of the ‘experts.’ There’s a long list of policy failures to examine; mask mandates were a disaster that accomplished absolute nothing of value, but instead led to tremendous harms, many of which continue today.

Children were forced into masks for years on end, millions of people still wear masks when traveling or inside stores and restaurants, permanently convinced of the deliberate falsehood that masks are effective prevention tools. Perhaps most disturbing is that healthcare workers in blue cities are often still required to mask. Some hospitals have required masking continuously since 2020, while others are now enforcing rolling mandates based on the delusions of administrators and expert authorities.

Research into the economic cost of many of our Covid policies and mandates is still ongoing, but a new, extremely detailed report on school closures has created a horrifying context for just how damaging Anthony Fauci’s advocacy was during the pandemic.

All of Our Covid Policies Failed

The research begins with an obvious acknowledgment of the failures which occurred due to Covid mandates. Despite wildly different policies, there was virtually no difference in outcomes between countries.

“From the available evidence, it is difficult to identify the specific responses to the pandemic that led to better outcomes,” they write. “Countries clearly responded to the challenges in very different ways, from essentially no school closures (Sweden) to multiple years of closures (Uganda and Indonesia). Yet, simple statistics such as the length of school closures or overall health policies cannot explain much of the variance in outcomes.”

Lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine passports…none of it mattered, nor does it explain the variance in outcomes between countries. Why? The obvious answer is that none of these policies had the slightest chance of preventing transmission of a highly infectious respiratory virus.

Instead, the likely explanation for variance in outcomes comes down to differences in accounting for Covid cases and deaths, underlying health and age demographics, or pre-existing immunity from exposure to similar coronaviruses, which was almost certainly the reason why countries in Asia performed much better than Western countries during the early part of the pandemic, but was conveniently ignored in favor of “experts” maintaining the wishful thinking that “mask culture” was responsible.

Regardless of the explanation, the fact that there is no consistent factor to attribute better outcomes to is in itself an indictment of our Covid policies and mandates. If it’s impossible to define why a country did better or worse than another country, there should be no justification for continued restrictions. If only someone had told Fauci or his allies in the public health establishment in 2020-2021, but instead they forcefully criticized any opposition who understood the reality, such as Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

School Closures Caused Unimaginable Harms

The researchers spent most of their time attempting to assess the many harms caused by one of the pandemic’s most inexcusable policies: school closures. And the results of their estimates are jaw-dropping.

“Based on the available research on lifetime earnings associated with more skills, the average student in school during the pandemic will lose 5 to 6 percent of lifetime earnings,” they found. “Because a lower-skilled workforce leads to lower economic growth, the nation will lose some $31 trillion (in present value terms) during the twenty-first century. This aggregate economic loss is higher than the US GDP for one year and dwarfs the total economic losses from either the slowdown of the economy during the pandemic or from the 2008 recession.”

That’s not a misprint: $31 trillion. 

Teachers unions, Fauci, the CDC, and politicians have all ensured that the American economy will be decimated in the next century because they refused to admit they were wrong about all of it. As cost of living skyrockets thanks to rampant inflation, also caused by our incompetence and malicious, purposeful ignorance, children forced to learn under school closures will be irreparably set back, which will cost them hundreds of thousands if not millions of earned income throughout their lives.

It’s easy to suggest that maybe these harms may be erased or mitigated over time. The researchers addressed that too, yet they failed to provide much hope for the future.

“Finally, we provide a few observations about recovery from the learning losses. History suggests that these losses are likely to be permanent unless the schools become better than they were before the pandemic,” they conclude.

With wholly incompetent political activists like Randi Weingarten controlling schools, disgraceful DEI policies infiltrating every aspect of public education, the lack of acknowledgment from Fauci and other organizations that Covid mandates were a failure, and the complete ideological capture of the education system, it’s impossible to reasonably expect that schools will ever “become better than they were.”

The damage they caused is locked in – forever.

Once Again, Florida Provides the Alternative

Importantly, the results of school closures varied per region. In far-left states such as California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, school closures persisted well into 2021.

But Florida was one of the few states, and perhaps the only large one, to make reopening schools a priority, despite the objections of teachers unions and media outlets that attempted to label the governor as “DeathSantis.”

And it’s going to pay off, relatively speaking. A figure presented in the research shows that Florida’s economic state loss in GDP is nearly equal to Pennsylvania, despite a population that’s nearly 75% bigger than Pennsylvania. And California’s estimated losses, roughly $1.3 trillion, are more than 116% higher than Florida, much larger than the population difference. Similarly, New York’s economic losses far exceed Florida’s, despite a smaller population.

DeSantis followed the actual science, listened to competent outside expert advisors, and as a result, when compared to other major states, Florida is set to massively benefit in the future. It is yet again another clear indictment of the blue states that chose to follow the Fauci blueprint into economic disaster.

And make no mistake, this is a disaster.

No Accountability for Failure

The researchers compared the learning loss train wreck to the 2008 recession, showing that the Covid response is responsible for substantially more damage than even that economic cycle.

“The lopsided attention to the business-cycle losses from the 2008 recession and from the pandemic is startling once we see the comparable pandemic learning loss figures,” they wrote. “The economic losses from the loss of human capital are fully six times the total losses from the 2008 recession, which was labeled the largest recession since the Great Depression.”

This is staggering. Six times the total losses from the 2008 recession, already considered one of the worst in modern economic history. All because Fauci and his band of “experts” seized an opportunity to enforce their agenda of control onto a compliant society. And also because they refused to admit failure when many were desperately trying to expose them.

It’s an inexcusable, historic set of decisions with lasting consequences both in soft cultural terms and harder economic ones. A $31 trillion loss is the loss of GDP exclusively from school closures. That doesn’t even account for the loss of business income, the years-long setback in terms of new business, or the loss of GDP from adults who gave up on career plans or other pursuits out of despair or lack of opportunity.

The damage the “experts” caused is incalculable. But the attempts to calculate it has resulted in absolutely horrifying estimates.

And not one of those responsible is willing to acknowledge it.

Republished from the author’s Substack

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Trudeau gov’t still receiving COVID shots while throwing away $1.5 billion worth of expired jabs

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Canada has contracted for delivery up to 90.8 million COVID vaccines by this December despite decreased demand from Canadians for the experimental shots.

Canada is still under contract to purchase shipments of the experimental COVID vaccines while at the same time throwing away $1.5 billion dollars worth of expired shots.   

According to information obtained April 8 by Blacklock’s Reporter, Liberal Health Minister Mark Holland revealed that Canada is still being forced under contract to purchase new vaccines even as the Department of Health has thrown away $1.59 billion worth of expired shots.

“As additional vaccines were authorized for use in Canada, manufacturers increased production capacity and demand from Canadians decreased,” Holland explained in a December 6 briefing note.   

“Overall wastage increased,” he wrote. “Additionally, as new formulations have been authorized for use to address variants of concern, wastage of older formulations has increased.”  

According to the briefing note, contracts with vaccine companies have compelled Canada’s Public Health Agency to continue to purchase the unwanted vaccines. The suppliers included Pfizer Canada, Novovax Incorporated and Moderna Inc. 

“The Public Health Agency does not intend to procure additional COVID-19 vaccines once firm contractual deliveries under existing Advance Purchase Agreements are completed at the end of the calendar year 2024 for messenger RiboNucleic Acid vaccines and in 2024 for non-mRNA vaccines,” said the note. 

While the note did not disclose how many more vaccines Canada is still on the hook for, a 2023 report from the Department of Public Works revealed it had contracted for delivery of up to 90.8 million doses by December 31, 2024.   

Since November 24, 2023, a total 52.9 million doses have been thrown away. The wastage cost Canadians $1.59 billion according to the Auditor General’s estimate that the shots cost about $30 per dose. 

“‘Up to date’ is the right way to think about vaccination now,” then-Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told reporters June 30, 2022. “‘Fully vaccinated’ makes no sense now. It is ‘up to date.’” 

“We will never be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” he claimed. “Like the virus, our immunity also evolves.” 

However, government research has revealed that the majority of Canadians are flat-out refusing a COVID booster injection. Data from the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination: Vaccination coverage dashboard, shows that only 14.6 percent of Canadians, about 5.7 million, have had an “XBB.1.5 vaccine” COVID booster.  

Canadians’ decision to refuse the vaccine comes as a Statistic Canada report revealed that deaths from both COVID-19 and “unspecified causes” surged following the release of the so-called “safe and effective” vaccines. 

LifeSiteNews has published comprehensive research on the dangers of receiving the experimental vaccine, including heart damage and blood clots.    

The Trudeau government, with the help of the Department of Health, heavily promoted the COVID jabs, which were rushed to market.

In 2021, Trudeau said Canadians “vehemently opposed to vaccination” do “not believe in science,” are “often misogynists, often racists,” and questioned whether Canada should continue to “tolerate these people.”   

A recent study done by researchers at the Canada-based Correlation Research in the Public Interest found that 17 countries have a “definite causal link” between peaks in all-cause mortality and the fast rollouts of the COVID shots and boosters.   

In October, LifeSiteNews reported how the Polyomavirus Simian Virus 40 (SV40), which is a monkey-linked DNA sequence known to cause cancer when it was used in old polio vaccines, has been confirmed by Health Canada to be in the Pfizer COVID shot, a fact that was not disclosed by the vaccine maker to officials.  

In November, officials with Canada’s Department of Health refused to release data concerning internal audits related to the COVID crisis that show “critical weaknesses and gaps” according to their own department memo.  

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