Questions, Doubts, Lack of Accountability Undermine Coutts Fundraising

Coutts Four Fundraising Chaos

Declaration by Donald Best

I, Donald Best, am the sole author of this Investigation Report concerning Fundraising for the accused men commonly known as the ‘Coutts Four’: Anthony Olienick, Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak, and Jerry Morin.

I verily believe that everything in this report is accurate and true to the best of my professional abilities, and considering the sources and information available to me at the time.

Should the need arise or be required, I am willing to create a sworn affidavit based upon this report and / or testify under oath if subpoenaed.

If any person or group objects to anything in this report or that I have published or broadcast anywhere regarding the subjects and issues at hand, I can be contacted via email at:

[email protected]

I will professionally consider all communications and especially any relevant evidence or exhibits sent to me. Should new evidence disprove anything in this report or cause me to change any reported fact or my analysis, I will prominently publish that evidence and a revised report at my website: DonaldBest.CA

This report is the result of requests from almost a hundred people (witnesses) who contacted me starting in July, 2023 and expressed concern with the fundraising activities of what I call ‘The Margaret MacKay Group’ or for brevity ‘The MacKay Group’. Some friends and family members of the four accused also contacted me.

I have never directly spoken with any of the four accused, although I have received messages through others.

The intent of this report is twofold:

1/ To document the Coutts Four joint fundraising controversy that is undermining the ability of the Coutts Accused to raise funds, and,

2/ To restore public confidence in fundraising through a recommended ‘Clean Start’ for the individual fundraising efforts of each accused. As detailed later, it is my belief that the current situation has destroyed the viability of joint fundraising for the foreseeable future.

Note: I will be further copying the text of the report into this post, but for now here is the full report in .pdf format…


Donald Best

Sunday, November 19, 2023

23:20 hours Eastern

Letter from Canadian Political Prisoner Tony Olienick – Without Bail 563 Days

Clockwise from top left: Jerry Morin, Tony Olienick, Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak.

I received the following letter on August 29, 2023 from Father Jeffrey Stephaniuk, who had received the original from Coutts Four political prisoner Tony Olienick. The original hand-written letter appears at the end…

Freedom Convoy

Honk! Honk!

Hold the Line

Stand on Guard For Thee

August 24, 2023

Dear Jeffrey Stephaniuk,

Hello! Thank you for sending me your heartfelt letter of support. I am grateful and honoured to serve God and all the amazing Patriots out there like yourself. I honour and respect your father for his military service for this great nation, and I appreciate you for being a Priest and fellow son of God.

I’ve been a new Christian believer since March of 2020, that’s when I realized the battle between good and evil happening in the spirit world, and now how it’s spilling out into the physical world now. Since being in custody it has given me the much needed time, I always made excuses of not having ample time to sit down and read the bible and to understand God’s great words.

I’m grateful for being in custody as it truly saved me, I feel more free behind these walls than a lot of people out there are. So I totally believe this was my destiny, God’s plan for me, so I have no regrets from my time at Coutts and know in my heart that we are not guilty of anything except peacefully protesting against a corrupt system.

“We stood there at Coutts for the people of this great nation and I will continue to stand and defend their God given rights and freedoms for as long as need be. Especially for the children as their fate rests in all our hands, so we must not give up for their sake.”

For the little time I’ve known the other three men, I can say they are real down to earth peace loving Patriots and like myself love this country and ALL Canadians. We are passionate about Freedom and concerned about the direction our government is leading us.

Now myself and one of my co-accused were arrested at Coutts while standing peacefully at the front of the protest crowd, filming the events on our phones outside the saloon. We were unarmed and were surrounded by heavily armed militarized RCMP. We did not cause any incidents to warrant our arrest for mischief.

A few hours later the third guy was sick and asleep in his trailer which was parked blocks away from the protest site and on private property. He was suddenly awoken and told to come out, he came out peacefully and unarmed but shocked to be face to face with dozens of RCMP pointing their rifles directly at him. He did not cause any incidents to warrant his arrest for mischief either.

The next day the fourth guy was in Calgary and driving to work when he was suddenly pulled over and arrested by SWAT. Again he did not cause any incidents to warrant his arrest and was 4 ½ hrs away from Coutts!

“It wasn’t until after we were all in custody is when the corrupt evil system needed an excuse to justify their draconian act in implementing the Emergencies Act so that’s when they hit us with bogus charges of weapons for a dangerous purpose and conspiracy to murder RCMP.”

This was all fabricated by a bias evil agenda driven by the federal government, when in fact the real criminals at Coutts were the RCMP as they admitted on the record for vandalizing three excavator machines which posed no threat and were parked on private farmland outside of Coutts. The RCMP did this blatant act of sabotage to try and provoke us peaceful protestors into acting out in a retaliatory response which none of us did. So that’s when the RCMP used more underhanded evil tactics, breaking the law and our charter rights to push a government agenda.

“Now just yesterday the judge announced that he is going to open and review the envelope our defense lawyers submitted containing crime fraud between the Federally appointed crown prosecutors and the RCMP. This is a big win for all Canadians!”

We can’t have a corrupt law system, so people need to hold the courts liable to expose the corruption.

My lawyer fees have reached $500,000.00 to expose this. I am very grateful for the help I’ve received financially from all the Patriot donations that have come through my angel Granny McKay!

I pray as we move forward that no stone gets left unturned. I want the truth to be told to the public, everyone has a right to know what’s going on.

You don’t hear much about us any more on the mainstream as they don’t want to report the crime fraud collusion that happened between the crown and RCMP. They know they are the ones who should be sitting here in jail and not me or the three other men.

Anyway, thank you for reaching out to me! It sure means a lot. God bless you, Jeffrey! Thank you for being a Freedom Warrior with me!!

With sincere love and gratitude

Tony Olienick

P.S. If you have access to Instagram please follow and share my profile tony_o1911 as I posted all my videos from Coutts on there. The last video I posted was minutes before my arrest and depicts the exact location as well as events leading up to my arrest. Please share my story far and wide!


Denying Bail To The Coutts Four Is a Political Decision and Act

Clockwise from top left: Jerry Morin, Tony Olienick, Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak.

Jerry Morin, Anthony Olienick, Christopher Carbert, and Christopher Lysak are political prisoners in Canada. Their wives and children are also being punished.

Five hundred and ten days ago just after midnight on February 14, 2022 – heavily armed RCMP squads raided three trailer-homes in the border town of Coutts, Alberta and started arresting people for Conspiracy to Murder Police Officers in Support of a Plot to Overthrow the Government during the Freedom Convoy protests in Alberta.

After a series of court appearances, four men remain in jail – denied bail for reasons of… well, we don’t know why they were denied bail. A court order prohibits publishing most details of the ongoing case and hearings.

Everybody makes bail in Canada

Constable Northrup’s accused killer is out on bail

Canada is a country that releases just about any accused on bail – including Umar Zameer who is currently accused of the first degree murder of Toronto Police officer Jeffrey Northrup. Also out on bail are several persons charged with setting multiple forest fires, and probably hundreds of violent armed robbers and drive-by shooters.

Sure, the courts often require the released accused to stay in their home, wear a tracking bracelet, not contact certain persons, and comply with various other release conditions set by the courts on a case-by-case basis.

All this is in place to protect the public, and to ensure that the accused appears in court, while acknowledging that in Canada persons are ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

But no bail for the Coutts Four. Why?

I really hadn’t paid attention to the Coutts Four case until a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I didn’t notice the case, except that life is busy and each of us can only care about so many external issues before we go into overload.

I did not know that these men were still being held without bail. When I learned of their situation I was surprised and then a bit confused. Everybody makes bail in Canada.

Most Canadians don’t know that these men are being held without bail, and that by the time they go to trial they will have been sitting in remand center jails for over two years.

“No Bail? Must be Guilty!”

When we hear that the courts denied bail to the Coutts Four, our natural reaction is to believe that the evidence must be overwhelming, and that these men are evil monsters locked up to protect society.

That is what I initially believed. Hey… I’m a former Toronto Police Sergeant Detective who has spent his professional life locking up bad guys. Twice I’ve said the words “I am arresting you for murder…”

I live for evidence… and until a few years ago was an unquestioning supporter of Canadian law enforcement and intelligence organizations. For decades my natural tendency was to accept the public declarations of the police as gospel.

“As a result of examining the information and evidence available to us in the Coutts Four case, I have grave doubts about the quality of the RCMP investigation. Further, I believe that the investigation, charges, and denial of bail to the Coutts Four were motivated or impacted by a political agenda.”  Donald Best

Staged RCMP Photo released morning of February 14, 2022 – Weapons Seized at Coutts, Alberta

When a Staged PR Photo is More Important than Professional Evidence Handling and an Ongoing Investigation

The above photo was part of a RCMP news release on the morning of February 14, 2022 – that can still be found at the RCMP website here.

To any trained investigator the photo shows substandard, even suspect, evidence handling. It also indicates a surprising sloppiness in the investigation – especially considering the serious nature of the charges against the Coutts Four, and the fact that a conspiracy is alleged.

“In addition to the sloppy police work though, we can deduce that the staging of the photo was intended to have a political impact on public discourse about the Freedom Convoy.”

Some police officer in authority – perhaps even acting on advice or request from the government – made a decision that the political / PR use of the photo was so important that it didn’t matter if its public distribution could interfere with the ongoing investigation and also weaken the legal case against the Coutts Four.

First let’s consider the lead charge “Conspiracy to Murder”…

Conspiracy investigations and trials are among the most complex cases that police and prosecutors handle. Conspiracy charges can be difficult to prove especially if the intended ‘unlawful objective offence’ (in this case murder of police) was not actually committed.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books and papers have been written about the law of Conspiracy as it applies in the various jurisdictions, and I do not intend to explain even the basics in this article. An excellent primer on Canadian Conspiracy Law can be found at The Criminal Law Notebook here.

Why no Fingerprinting or DNA Testing of the Seized Firearms and Other Items?

Given that this is a major case involving a complex charge with multiple accused, I would expect that investigators would be meticulous in collecting evidence – especially in circumstances where if evidence is not collected, protected, and preserved immediately, it cannot be collected later.

RCMP officers briefing the news media on the morning of the raids and arrests indicated that there were other unknown members of the purported criminal organization that the accused allegedly belonged to – and that they would continue the efforts to learn the identity of the ‘other’ suspects.

In the next few days the RCMP executed additional search warrants to find weapons. The redacted ‘Informations to Obtain’ the search warrants indicated that there were other ‘unknown’ members of this group of conspirators – and thus the warrants had to be obtained and executed on an urgent basis.

Given that the RCMP appeared so concerned that there were other involved but unidentified co-conspirators – the question must be asked… Why didn’t the RCMP fingerprint and DNA test the seized firearms and other items that theoretically could have originated with ‘other unknown’ suspects?

How Do We Know the RCMP Did Not Fingerprint or DNA Test the Seized Items?

If the RCMP intended to fingerprint and DNA-test the seized items, they would have bagged each item at the scene where it was found – both to protect the item from contamination and to secure and protect the item during transport to the police facility and then to the forensic lab.

Police would NEVER have placed and displayed the items together on a table without individual protection. They would NEVER have placed items touching each other or in proximity so that hairs, skin flakes, or other DNA bearing evidence could be transferred from one item to another.

Had this been a competent investigation into the serious crime of Conspiracy to Murder Police Officers – seized evidence would have been professionally collected, protected, preserved, and forensically examined.

Forensic Examination of the Seized Firearms Could Also Have Produced Exculpatory Evidence – supporting the innocence of one or more of the Coutts Four.

Failure of police officers to adhere to the fundamentals of exhibits collection and protection doesn’t just potentially weaken the prosecution’s case – it can also deny important exculpatory evidence to the defense.

Many times I have seen otherwise good officers get ‘tunnel vision’ about a suspect or an investigation, and begin to pay attention only to evidence that supports their theory of the case and the crime. These officers become so focused that they will even deliberately exclude evidence that doesn’t support their vision of events.

‘Tunnel Vision’ police officers sometimes get blindsided at trial because they assume that they have ‘enough evidence’ and fail to take simple steps that would have solidified their case.

For instance, when a ‘tunnel vision’ officer discovers drugs or stolen goods in the trunk of a suspect’s car, they assume they have a solid case and don’t fingerprint the contraband or otherwise attempt to connect it to the suspect.

Then in court when some friend of the accused testifies that he borrowed the car from the accused – and the accused knew nothing of the drugs – the police have no contrary evidence. I have seen that exact scenario happen.

A Photo Created and Used for Propaganda and Political Purposes

RCMP Feb 14, 2022 Media Release

It is undeniable that the photo of seized firearms included in the RCMP’s February 14, 2022 morning Press Release was staged for the primary purpose of propaganda – and not as evidence for use in court.

The tables are set up on a diagonal in what appears to be a police garage or prisoner receiving area – not in a secure evidence room or office for processing.

A marked RCMP patrol vehicle is staged at an angle behind the tables to let the audience know which policing organization achieved this magnificent result. Items have been arranged on the floor with five of the long-guns rather precariously leaning against the table for display. No person would normally position or store firearms in such a manner where a bump of the table might cause them to fall.

The vests have been arranged standing up, with the grey vest on the table having a box placed inside to keep the vest standing for display. The other vests are similarly standing in positions indicating that they may have unseen internal supports. The ammunition boxes are open to display the contents, with the large box on the table staged at an unnatural angle.

This display of seized weapons and equipment was intended, designed, and staged as a propaganda photo to be distributed to the press in the morning of February 14, 2022 just a few hours after the raids.

The photo and press release were also used in negotiations with protestors to convince them to leave the area. The photo had a national impact and was used by both the news media and the government as a justification for the invoking of the Emergencies Act and the police operations to arrest and clear Freedom Convoy protestors in Ottawa.

The RCMP Compromised Their Ongoing Investigation By Releasing The Photo

The RCMP’s almost immediate release of the propaganda photo on the morning of February 14, 2022 was a decision that placed RCMP public relations and Federal Politics ahead of professional investigation procedures.

The investigation of Conspiracy to Murder Police Officers was ongoing on the morning of February 14, 2022. The RCMP was purportedly looking for other yet-to-be-identified co-conspirators.

Despite this ongoing investigation, the RCMP released a large-size detailed photo of the seized firearms and other items that would have allowed the ‘unidentified suspects’ to know if any of the firearms or equipment they supplied had been seized. This photo could have alerted suspects that the police were coming for them and that they should dispose of any other evidence before the police arrived.

The decisions to publish the photograph and to not perform forensic investigations of the firearms put politics before professional policing.

When Political Agendas Enter Police Investigations – Justice Suffers

My examination of the information we have access to thus far convinces me that politics played a major role:

  • in the conduct of the police investigation,
  • in the less than professional handling of evidence,
  • in the staging and release of the photo on February 14, 2022, and,
  • in the denial of bail to the Coutts Four.

Given all of the above circumstances, I now believe that the decision to lay criminal charges against all or some of the Coutts Four was also politically motivated.

Don’t get me wrong here… I’m not saying that each of the Coutts Four is innocent of every charge. We won’t know that until we hear the evidence at trial.

What I am saying is that in context, the denial of bail is a political decision and act – intended to achieve three purposes…

1/ To act as public ‘evidence’ that the accused persons were so dangerous that it justified the use of the Emergencies Act,

2/ To influence potential jury members to be more likely to convict the accused,

3/ To deter other protesters and protests by teaching all Canadians a good lesson about what happens to people and families who oppose the Liberal Government.


Additional Information about the Coutts Four and the case against them

Jason Lavigne

Independent Federal Candidate Jason Lavigne has been following the Coutts Four case on his morning show – where I sometimes appear as a guest.

Twitter: @JasonLavigneMP




Margaret ‘Granny’ Mackay

‘Granny’ Mackay has been fundraising for the Coutts Four and their families, and working to tirelessly to raise awareness that the four are being held without bail.

Twitter: @CalmTheFear