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Convoy grifter convicted of libel, contempt

John Bell

September 24, 2022

Chelsea Hillier, a prominent supporter of last winter’s “freedom” convoy has been found guilty of libelling a university instructor with whom she disagreed over vaccine requirements, and ordered to pay $100 thousand in costs and damages.

Hillier is daughter of former Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, a spectacularly failed People’s Party candidate and an exemplar of what the far-right means when they talk about “free speech”. She and her father were prominent during the far-right led convoy occupation of Ottawa last winter, trying to turn anger into financial and electoral support for the People’s Party and other right-wing organization, and line their own pockets.

Hillier took to social media to accuse a former friend, Carleton University instructor Esther Post, of sexual impropriety, and using a “rape drug” to lure students. The two had fallen out over Hillier’s increasingly conspiratorial views of COVID public health measures, and other QAnon inspired beliefs. She incited her many internet followers to wage a harassment campaign directed at Post and her employer.

When Post confronted her former friend and warned she would sue for libel if the lies were not retracted, Hillier reportedly mocked her, saying she was too poor to afford a lawyer.

Post, with the support of colleagues and friends, proved her wrong.

In June, Justice Sally Gomery handed down a blistering judgement in Post’s favour, ordering Hillier to pay all court costs and damages to Post for her personal and professional suffering. Gomery also ordered Hillier to retract her false accusations. 

Instead, Hillier repeated her libel, framing herself as a victim of censorship and champion of “free speech”. She used the judgement to fundraise from her followers. 

This resulted in contempt of court charges for which she now awaits sentencing. Hillier finally published the court ordered retraction months late, but just hours before her contempt hearing. There was no apology. Hillier has declared bankruptcy in an effort to evade responsibility.

During the contempt hearing Hillier admitted to making a number of false statements on social media. “I’m not honest on twitter. Very few people are.” Her contempt sentence will come next month, and will include additional fines and possible jail time. No doubt she will posture as a martyr to her cause.

The whole episode is a revealing look at how the far-right uses rage-farming techniques and misinformation to raise funds and organize followers. These champions of far-right “freedom” are dangerous grifters.


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