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Freedom Convoy leaders’ trial concludes for 2023 but will resume in 2024

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The trial, which began on September 5, 2023, was supposed to have lasted just over two weeks.

The trial against Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber has concluded for 2023 but will be back again early next year.  

Last Thursday, day 33, was the last day of the trial for 2023. The court is expected to resume on January 4, 2024. 

During day 33 of the trial, the Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, noted that the court will resume in 2024 with a “voir dire,” or trial within a trial, to be “held over how comments made by the judge presiding over the Ottawa injunction order of February 2022 should be treated.” 

“In the days following, there should be a decision on the defense motion to dismiss the Carter application,” noted TDF.  

The trial, which began on September 5, 2023, was supposed to have lasted only a few weeks.  

Last year, lawyers for both sides agreed that 16 days would be a reasonable amount of time to have a fair case. The Crown however took a long time in going through its witness list, which slowed the pace of the trial to a crawl. 

On Day 33 of the trial, legal counsel for Barber reiterated to the court that it’s not a “crime” that the leaders did not tell people to leave Ottawa, as the Crown claims it was.  

Thus far, per TDF, the Crown has asserted “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.”  

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.  

To back the claims up, the Crown has been hoping to use what is called a “Carter application” to help them make their case. The Crown’s so-called “Carter Application” asks that the judge to consider “Barber’s statements and actions to establish the guilt of Lich, and vice versa,” TDF stated.  

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.  

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

On day 32 of Lich Barber’s trial, 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. 

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 extensive.  

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COVID-19

‘Incompetence’: Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Much Money It Sent To Chinese Entities For Risky Virus Research

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By NICK POPE

 

The Department of Defense (DOD) does not know how much money it directly or indirectly sent to Chinese entities to conduct research on viruses with pandemic potential, according to a new report by the DOD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The OIG’s report found that DOD has supplied Chinese entities — whether directly or indirectly via subgrants — with taxpayer cash to research pathogens and the enhancement thereof, but the exact figure is unknown because of “limitations” in the DOD’s internal tracking system. Government funding for such research in China has come under scrutiny since the coronavirus pandemic, which multiple government entities believe started when an engineered virus leaked from a Chinese laboratory that was hosting U.S. government-backed gain-of-function research.

“Incompetence, absurdity, insanity; it’s hard to find a word that adequately describes this. Of all the things that DOD tracks, funds for dangerous research that could find their way to a hostile regime should be at the top of the list of those they keep close tabs on,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, told the Daily Caller News Foundation regarding the OIG report’s findings. “It makes you wonder if they really know where all our nuclear warheads are. The military is one of the few areas of government in which the public still maintains a modicum of trust, but, sadly, it looks like they are working hard to squander even that.”

The OIG review of this specific issue was required by the terms of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2024, which President Joe Biden signed into law in December 2023. The OIG’s investigation sought to determine just how much taxpayer cash was routed via “grants, contracts, subgrants, subcontracts, or any other type of agreement or collaboration, to Chinese research labs or to fund research or experiments in China or other foreign countries that could have reasonably resulted in the enhancement of pathogens of pandemic potential, from 2014 through 2023.”

Specifically, the OIG learned from U.S. Army officials that 12 grant awards fit the description of what it was investigating, seven of which were subgrants or subcontracts provided to entities in China or other foreign countries for research involving or related to enhanced pathogens, its report states. The OIG’s review also identified a further $9.9 million in funding that reached Chinese entities for research purposes, though that research was unrelated to pathogens.

“However, we did encounter significant challenges in searching for awards related to section 252 of the FY 2024 NDAA reporting requirement due to limitations in the DoD’s systems used to track contracts and grants,” the OIG report states. “Therefore, the full extent of DoD funds provided to Chinese research laboratories or other foreign countries for research related to enhancement of pathogens of pandemic potential is unknown.”

The issues with DOD’s grant tracking systems created “significant constraints” for OIG that “hindered [its] ability to conduct a thorough examination” of DOD’s involvement in funding this specific type of research, the report states.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) previously conducted a similar review of DOD’s spending and Chinese entities receiving taxpayer dollars to conduct research on pathogens of pandemic potential, and its final report — published in September 2022 — also detailed similar struggles with the DoD’s grant and sub-grant tracking systems.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic most likely began when the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, which was the site of gain-of-function research funded by the U.S. government via an organization called EcoHealth Alliance. Additionally, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray has acknowledged that his organization has reached a similar conclusion.

Despite this, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci has reiterated his position that a lab leak is the less likely scenario of the two as recently as Tuesday. The COVID-19 pandemic killed more than one million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and millions more globally, while the American policy response to the pandemic inflicted considerable economic and social damage on the general public.

The DOD did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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Canadian doctor forced to pay $44K fine, serve suspension for prescribing Ivermectin to treat COVID

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan claimed that a Regina doctor was engaged in unprofessional conduct for going against a policy that restricted doctors from prescribing Ivermectin or ‘alternative’ therapies.

A doctor working in a medium-sized Canadian city has been suspended and fined for prescribing Ivermectin to some of his patients to treat or prevent one from getting COVID.

On June 7, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) ruled that Regina doctor Tshipita Kabongo was engaged in unprofessional conduct for going against a policy that restricted doctors from prescribing Ivermectin or “alternative” therapies to patients.

As a result, Kabongo was hit with a one-month suspension starting August 1 and was ordered to pay $44,783.72, which was what it cost for the investigation and hearing.

Kabongo worked at the Integrated Wellness and Health Balance Centre in Regina. From April 2020 to March 2022, he prescribed Ivermectin to some of his patients.

The CPSS policy on “alternatives” to the COVID jabs as a means to combat the virus stated that it is “unethical to engage in or to aid and abet in treatment which has no acceptable scientific basis, may be dangerous, may deceive the patient by giving false hope, or which may cause the patient to delay in seeking conventional care until his or her condition becomes irreversible.”

Instead, the CPSS only promoted the COVID shots for the virus, which today are known to have many negative side effects.

“The most effective strategy for preventing COVID-19 continues to be immunization and all Saskatchewan. Ministry of Health approved vaccines provide a high level of protection,” the CPSS said in a joint letter.

According to the CPSS, Kabongo’s recommendation of Ivermectin to some of his patients was not “medically” necessary because he did not recommend other treatment options.

Health Canada, along with many medical groups in Saskatchewan and in other provinces, in the fall of 2021 said that using Ivermectin to treat COVID was potentially dangerous and claimed that there was no evidence the drugs worked to stop the virus.

However, Dr. Pierre Kory, the author of The War on Ivermectinclaimed in testimony that the drug is safe and said some meta-studies show that it has an 81 percent mortality reduction rate in those with COVID.

COVID vaccine mandates, which came from provincial governments with the support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government, split Canadian society. Many governmental or private sector workers lost their jobs for refusing to get the shots.

Shots were promoted by health officials as only way to treat COVIDn

The mRNA shots have been linked to a multitude of negative and often severe side effects in children.

A recent study by a team of experts that includes prominent critics of the COVID establishment as well as Dr. Peter McCullough shows that the COVID shots have a 200-times higher risk of brain clots than other injections.

The jabs also have connections to cell lines derived from aborted babies. As a result, many Catholics and other Christians refused to take them.

However, despite health officials in Canada and the United States opposing using Ivermectin, which is historically used to treat parasites and rosacea when applied to the skin, the drug has long been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a variety of human ailments. In fact, it is included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’S) Model List of Essential Medicines.

During the earlier days of COVID, the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID gained notoriety, and there have been many promising studies along with anecdotal reports of positive results from the use of the drugs.

It even got to the point that some families in the United States had to go to court to force hospitals to let them try the medications for their loved ones. Some U.S. doctors have seen their medical licenses threatened for prescribing it, which prompted states such as Missouri and Oklahoma to take action to protect medical freedom for those who wish to try and prescribe them.

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