Warrant issued for Kelowna protest leader after missed court appearance

Warrant issued for Lindsay

A warrant has been issued for one of the leaders of Kelowna's anti-COVID restrictions movement, after he failed to show up in court Thursday.

David Lindsay is facing two counts of assault connected to an alleged incident during a protest outside Downtown Kelowna's Interior Health building on Doyle Avenue in August.

Lindsay has been one of the regular speakers at Kelowna's weekly Saturday rallies in Stuart Park and the protests outside the IH building.

During Lindsay's application to vary his bail in December, Crown prosecutor Murray Kaay said the two assault charges stem from a protest outside the IH building on Aug. 19, when Lindsay allegedly attempted to enter the building.

The Crown alleges Lindsay tried to push his way past two security guards who were standing shoulder-to-shoulder. This alleged contact with the two men is what constitutes the assault charges.

Lindsay was scheduled to appear in Kelowna court Thursday morning, but after he failed to appear, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Lindsay did appear in court on the charges in late December, when he successfully applied to vary his bail conditions.

His bail conditions initially prohibited him from attending any Interior Health buildings, including hospitals, except for emergency situations.

“The concerns are related to the prospect of interference of the day-to-day operations of these facilities because of the possibility of protests," Kaay told Judge Andrew Tam back on Dec. 31.

But Judge Tam sided with Lindsay, and changed his conditions to just include avoiding the IH building on Doyle Avenue and avoiding contact with the two security guards.

“In this case, the fact that Mr. Lindsay allegedly committed an assault on two security personnel in the context of a protest while the world is facing a pandemic crisis is extremely troubling, and one can easily understand why the Crown would seek their condition in question,” Judge Tam said on Dec. 31.

“I have nevertheless concluded that, in the context of properly balancing the constitutional principles with the protection of the public, banning Mr. Lindsay from any Interior Health building may be over-broad.”

Lindsay refused to wear a mask during the hearing, citing an undisclosed medical exemption, which Judge Tam accepted.

More Kelowna News