UPDATE 2:30 PM ——————————————————————–
The trial in the death of animal rights activist Regan Russell has been delayed.
A justice of the peace was not present in the Burlington Provincial Offenses Act court where the trial was set to begin on Monday, forcing a delay of the trial.
Russell was killed during a demonstration activity outside of a Burlington slaughterhouse when she was struck by a truck while giving water to pigs in a livestock trailer.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE ——————————————————————
A truck driver accused of causing the death of an animal rights activist outside of a slaughterhouse will go to trial on Monday.
The Brussels Transport truck driver, who has not been publicly identified, is facing a careless driving traffic charge in a Burlington court in connection with the death of 65 year old Regan Russell.
The traffic charge could result in a monetary fine or a prison sentence up to two years, according to CBC.
Russell was killed outside of the Fearman’s Pork plant in Burlington, Ontario, in June 2020.
Russell was participating in an animal rights protest that involved giving water to pigs before slaughter with the group Toronto Pig Save. She was struck by a Brussels Transport truck hauling pigs into the plant and died from her injuries.
The protest was held in response to the passage of Bill 156, also known as the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020. The bill allows the Ontario government to issue “escalating fines of up to $15,000 for a first offense and $25,000 for subsequent offenses” to protesters who interfere with livestock haulers.
Animal rights groups have called on authorities to upgrade the charge against the truck driver from a traffic offense to a criminal offense. Toronto Pig Save has planned demonstrations at the courthouse.
Russell’s step son also issued a statement calling for criminal charges:
Tyler Jutzi, whose family owns Brussels Transport, told CTV News after the incident that the trucking company had been targeted by animal rights groups after Russell’s death.
“They threatened to blow up trucks. They threatened to sabotage trucks. They threatened to burn the slaughterhouse down,” Jutzi said.