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Former Green candidate now involved in convoy protest

Owen Swiderski ran in Battlefords in 2011
Owen Swiderski
A photo of Owen Swiderski from the Freedom Convoy Token webpage.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — A former candidate for the Green Party in the Battlefords has found himself involved in a different political activity these days.

Owen Swiderski has now been identified as among those involved with the truckers’ protests in Ottawa. 

Swiderski has been involved with a Facebook page titled The Great Rebellion, and has been identified as one of the co-leaders of a cryptocurrency effort called Freedom Convoy Token, or FCT for short, to raise funds for the truckers’ convoy. 

The organizers of the Freedom Convoy turned to FCT after their GoFundMe crowdfunding page was taken down. Others listed as co-founders include Pat King and George Billings. Swiderski’s official title, according to their website, was listed as a “Freedom Fighter.”

According to a screenshot from their now-defunct website: “As an investor in the Freedom Convoy ecosystem, you are not only supporting a cause that can decide the future of all Canadian peoples’ freedom but also your own freedom (wherever you come from). Holding FCT means generating passive income regularly through our four per cent native token redistribution on every transaction (Buy & Sell).” 

The crypto effort now appears to be offline. 

More recently, Swiderski has been cloaked in controversy, after those on social media accused him of illegally posting live-streams on Facebook of bail hearings of two of the convoy leaders, King and Billings. 

Both King and Billings were arrested in the crackdown on the convoy that took place following the recent federal invocation of the Emergencies Act by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. King has since been denied bail by an Ottawa judge, while Billings’ hearing was adjourned to Monday.

Interest in Swiderski’s current activities has resulted in a jump in traffic for a 2011 article by then News-Optimist reporter Alex McPhail that is posted on SASKTODAY.ca .

The article was part of an all-candidates profile of Swiderski when he ran as a provincial candidate for the Greens in the Battlefords provincial constituency in 2011. 

In that article, McPhail described Swiderski’s motivation for getting involved in politics as a way to secure a future for his children and the children of others.

"Everybody's running out of their own pocket, and we're all going to come up short, and it's all going to cost us thousands, but we all feel it's for the right reasons,” Swiderski was quoted. “These are thousands of dollars out of my kid's pocket, out of my family's pocket, so that we can try to secure a future for ourselves."