The Crown attorney in Norfolk County has dropped charges against Randy Hillier and two others involved in a demonstration against COVID-19 pandemic mandates.
Hillier is one of the founders of the Ontario Landowners’ Association and was a controversial member of the provincial legislature.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented pastor Henry Hildebrandt of Aylmer, Hillier, and former federal Member of Parliament Derek Sloan announced Monday the Crown dismissed the charges against the three men.
The men had been charged with violating public health orders under the Reopening Ontario Act for their part in a demonstration that in Norfolk County in June, 2021.
Approximately 300 people attended the rally against public health measures that were put in place by the province to slow the spread of COVID-19. At the time, there were limits on the number of people who could gather both indoors and outdoors. Religious services were included in the attendance cap.
According to the justice centre, the Crown felt it was no longer in the public interest to pursue the charges.
“Citizens have the right to make their opinions known,” Henna Parmar, a lawyer for the justice centre, said in a statement. “We are pleased in this case to hear that the Crown will not proceed with prosecuting citizens who spoke out against harsh government lockdowns.”