Assault trial for Kelowna's David Lindsay set for March 2023

Trial set for protest leader

David Lindsay will face trial for two counts of assault in March of next year, in what he describes as a “politically motivated” prosecution.

Lindsay, who's been one of Kelowna's more vocal voices against COVID-19 restrictions over the past two years, was charged with two counts of assault following an incident outside the Interior Health building on Doyle Avenue last August.

The Crown alleges Lindsay attempted to enter the building during a protest on Aug. 19, but two security guards blocked him from entering. Lindsay had been previously banned from the building stemming from an earlier protest that same month. The Crown says Lindsay tried to push his way past the guards on Aug. 19, which constitutes the alleged assault charges.

During a hearing in Kelowna court Wednesday morning, Crown prosecutor David Grabavac said he was ready to set trial dates in the matter, but Lindsay argued he needed more disclosure evidence from the Crown before proceeding to trial.

Since his first appearance in Kelowna court in January, Lindsay has been representing himself in the matter, without a defence lawyer, and he's previously told the court his charges are “highly political.”

Grabavac said all the evidence that he has access to that's been requested by Lindsay has been disclosed to Lindsay.

“Mr. Lindsay knows what the Crown's position is with respect to these assault charges and he's just on a fishing expedition for some political purpose,” Grabavac told Judge Monica McParland Wednesday.

“The issue is whether or not he applied force without consent to the two named complainants, and that's it.”

Lindsay appeared offended by Grabavac's assertion.

“I take objection to his comment that I'm fishing or that it's a political issue,” Lindsay told. “As I mentioned last time, these charges are politically motivated.”

Despite Lindsay's objections, Judge McParland said it was important to keep the matter moving by setting a trial date. She encouraged Lindsay to file a disclosure application if he wanted to dispute the Crown's disclosure. That application will be heard on Oct. 28, 2022.

Grabavac told the court he was available for the two-day trial in July, but Lindsay said that would be “far too early” for him, as his calendar is “almost virtually booked” through to early July. But Judge McParland noted Lindsay would be expected to make himself available.

“The court has an obligation to ensure that matters move forward as expeditiously as possible,” Judge McParland said.

Ultimately, the issue was moot, as there appears to have been no court time available until March 1, 2023. That court date was set Thursday.

The Crown plans to call seven witnesses and Lindsay plans to call two or three witnesses in his defence. Judge McParland reminded Lindsay Wednesday that his witnesses must be providing relevant evidence at the trial.

Lindsay is no stranger to the courts, having lost dozens of civil and criminal court cases. He has been declared a “vexatious litigant” in B.C., meaning he cannot initiate a civil lawsuit without a judge’s permission. He has served prison time for failing to pay taxes.

A warrant was issued for his arrest earlier this year when he failed to appear for one of his court dates, but he has since shown up at his subsequent required appearances.

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