Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Freedom Convoy

Texts give insight into feds’ communications strategy before ‘Freedom Convoy’ arrival

Published

3 minute read

By David Fraser in Ottawa

Newly released text messages show how the federal government was planning its communications strategy before the arrival of “Freedom Convoy” protesters in Ottawa back in late January.

Messages between a senior member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s staff and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s press secretary on Jan. 24 have been released by the public inquiry investigating the government’s use of the Emergencies Act.

In the exchange, the prime minister’s adviser Mary-Liz Power said Mendicino’s office was considering having the minister do media interviews about “some of the more extreme elements” of the protest.

“I think there could be an opportunity to get in on this growing narrative of the truckers,” the text said.

Power said they would use a similar message to the one used in response to the Jan. 6 attacks in Washington, D.C.

She suggested Mendicino could talk about how some convoy organizers’ language was concerning and needed to be taken seriously, but warned he would need to be careful to ensure it didn’t look like government was directing police.

Mendicino’s press secretary at the time, Alex Cohen, responded to say Mendicino wanted to wait a day or two because there was a danger that if they come down too hard, it “might push out the crazies.”

On Jan. 26, Trudeau denounced the “fringe” views of the people supporting the protests.

“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values as a country,” Trudeau said at the time.

Those comments helped galvanize protesters, according to police intelligence reports, and being part of the “fringe minority” soon became a point of pride among protesters in Ottawa.

Protests officially got underway near Parliament Hill on Jan. 29.

The Trudeau government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, arguing its temporary and extraordinary powers were needed to end weeks of noisy protests in downtown Ottawa and blockades at border crossings.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is tasked with determining whether the government was justified in triggering the never-before-used legislation. It is holding public hearings in Ottawa until Nov. 25.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2022.

Todayville is a digital media and technology company. We profile unique stories and events in our community. Register and promote your community event for free.

Follow Author

COVID-19

Emergencies Act commission report to be delivered Feb. 20

Published on

The federal commission looking into the Liberal government’s decision to use the Emergencies Act is being granted an extension to deliver its report to the cabinet and the public at the same time this month.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is investigating use of the act to end the “Freedom Convoy” protest, which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks in the winter of 2022.

Justice Paul Rouleau was given 360 days to deliver his report.

An order-in-council creating the commission has been changed to remove a Feb. 6 deadline to submit the report to the government.

The new deadline is Feb. 20, the final day allowed under law for the report to be given to Parliament and released to the public.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government invoked the Emergencies Act in February of last year, giving extraordinary powers to authorities to limit protesters’ movements and freeze bank accounts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2023.

Continue Reading

Freedom Convoy

Convoy organizer says plans to stage a 2023 protest in Winnipeg are off

Published on

Freedom Convoy 2.0 appears to be a bust.

Canada Unity, one of the anti-government protest groups behind the protests that headlined much of last year, is calling off its plans to restage the event this February.

Canada Unity founder James Bauder initially planned to bring a four-day blockade to Ottawa but then said it would be moved to Winnipeg.

Bauder now says in a Facebook post it’s not going to happen at all, citing security breaches and personal character attacks on him.

As the 2022 protest in Ottawa was forced to end last February Bauder was among dozens of people arrested and charged with mischief and various counts of disobeying police and court orders.

The first iteration of the Freedom Convoy blockaded downtown Ottawa for three weeks and shut down at least four border crossings, resulting in the federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act for the first time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2023.

Continue Reading

Trending

X