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A Canadian politician called on Tesla CEO Elon Musk not to forget to restore the Twitter account for the sake of free speech for a lawmaker bumped from the platform during the so-called “Freedom Convoy” and later slapped with criminal charges in connection to his support of February’s protest in Ottawa.
“Hey @elonmusk, please restore Randy Hillier’s account too,” Ontario Party Leader Derek Sloan, who is running for Premier of Ontario, tweeted Monday, reacting to news of Musk’s agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
Randy Hillier, who serves as Member of Provincial Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, was arrested and charged on March 28 with nine new counts that Ottawa police say stem from complaints over the politician’s social media posts and other activities during the Freedom Convoy protest.
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The charges related to mischief, obstruct and an alleged assault on a police officer.
Hillier has denied ever assaulting a police officer and while turning himself into police headquarters said he only greeted people on Parliament Hill with “smiles and handshakes” while handing out breakfast for truckers and others protesting vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 related restrictions.
CTV News reported prosecutors said the assault charges stem from an incident in which Hillier, joined by People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, went to the west gate of Parliament Hill, used his shoulder and hip to push an officer out of the way and thrust a gate open while urging crowds onward.
“His encouragement of others to participate in the occupation of downtown Ottawa, and his participation in that same protest, had the effect of placing the residents of the city of Ottawa at risk,” prosecutor Tim Wightman previously told the court during Hillier’s initial appearance.
Hillier was released that same day of his arrest on $35,000 bond under the conditions that he be prohibited to visit downtown Ottawa except to meet with his lawyer. He was also ordered to refrain from posting on social media about the “Freedom Convoy,” COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates and from attending or supporting any future organizations or protests related to the topics.
His defense attorney, David Anber, tells Fox News Digital the next hearing on the case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Anber said he plans to appeal the bail justice’s decision that “overly restricts Mr. Hillier’s ability to speak about or support, anti-mandate causes on social media or otherwise.” He also plans to ask for the removal of a condition that prohibits Hillier from visiting downtown Ottawa.
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Hillier was suspended from Twitter on March 8 for violating the platform’s COVID-19 vaccine misinformation policy. The ban came after the Ontario legislature had already unanimously passed a motion preventing Hillier from participating in chamber for what Government House Leader Paul Calandra described as “racist and discriminatory” comments against federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and for social media posts Calandra alleged suggested of calls for violence.
A week before the suspension, Hillier announced in a video message that he would not be seeking re-election for the member of provincial parliament position he’s held since 2007, ending his 15-year stint.
Also Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new commission tasked with investigating the “evolution” of the Freedom Convoy and his historic use of emergency powers that gave the federal government to power to quell protesters and freeze bank accounts of their supporters.