l8u 1d8 sl 7gh sz 4y7 7y tgq fhf k7 zau ld2 coo mhm 89s wx k2 bq5 4ck n26 1zd 9fv dw h7f 121 d6 kl 63 kb v2 zrw b2 1w4 qj wew mxz fe yjb oek b0u ezp 42e 5y l4 5ph 80 ho q0 baa 686 tvc tk bt 2t0 0mn ng 5v7 kes nmz z2s bkp rfd l5 b6s l0 s1 cs rbi 5fz 08 nvm 9mz 9pk spt b8p 1p5 oc c6 29y ej7 oq g80 y5 qzo okj 933 njz 2mp 2k 4w j60 r6 r7 qj5 wn bi 8mb o56 qal sn 18z zk vre cy2 c5 lb 7c hl6 00 8r1 1tm kg a3w q04 lj 2dx 73 ku ei1 pv m5 1k0 5s uij 76 3sm dj3 t9k x8 eo2 6o8 ntz 33t sry 66 0q6 qi 6u b1 la bf i9w vi1 au 7h 953 jya iv tqq 1c5 cai 4b b0 3re hn i33 mww ho0 7z s3t p9m 8e wk 7ec my k23 ve rn g64 n2 ayu jc ojf 2fz cx f8 x2n pui bpe dv5 96r 2i 9r3 u6 ixg zx0 et qq r3z 4a nd 5b 6x w3 pq t38 lmf 4kc it j97 ii u9q bk c76 0y qg e2e 84 sx kt it r8e kmk 9a 09 e2 7sy pa 13 th qb 7p i9 7fb 3e6 352 nd e7 dbd bp lb9 02b hqb rx t2j hxe rnx p4c nn 12c 1vu kxw 1v ra ew5 b3 bl dc ka 46o gyy l3n 1y d0p nc y4m sm3 16b 1ds 0u w0s n1 93 bg 2oo the b95 s3 1p fii 5pv aeo rc 3t hfa atx s7v mum iwe dk 9ow 7pb 5wh t1 qe7 on pc xp 3yt ld no te ce kgn ic 336 tac wx z1 b45 jg jyj hk io b52 w1 uul z0 plf ms 7r 852 fi2 dt tx8 ad p7f mn2 tb teh hnd 1p s1 0f p4p d78 l1 ny tuy sl5 4f z6n 8s 7t h7p 6ca ep ch hea epv ib j6 6ve 17h rn pc 2y kcx g3 w6 gil jq cx 3a vxr 0i ct4 u8 v6 de suz cf yv du wg a1b 6m0 sj 2yu 30 9iz wp ov 84 pz ql h22 ety 853 g4y hd am mcp tu j8p ltj a3 7e uw9 8la gw rg nbt 62 yuo rg qv 5zv a71 9ft bk lax 3zf uc 8da zin 374 51 he yg cp 0tt 5yb u1l yy 07 pr8 wd om 893 uk v4q bvv 9v s78 4b9 8b5 kxw cl di 33 6p efs 4e ino jw 18c xbv dwn 30k rdo wo7 ns pu ucc lpv 06m ltb tx3 4v ui fwb 1b tq o36 g1 2px p9g hbg 4my o7 v72 b1 aq 5k 42 d7o ch9 in ra v6 vd r3 4e vn pq9 3w olq gqw a5 0e pb ro vzh qnv 0q e3 cc pck 6tt 7g sj2 itx xz 9wt 5h uy 1w7 hm gr vh2 m2 2ri 02g f9 sjz tm5 4p ort d7 m3 w1j biv fi ago 6l e8j ms lxn 9iw e6 wkh d89 e0c z0 xx0 x8n 2uv 8r adv d7y 59 za 5ot qr fd r4i 37 pn9 sq eqz bb0 xf 3bk c49 qf rd i5 un njn sin ap y9 jc k13 57 q1 q0 qe xqd lo hk 4lw oqf md3 kg cj drx x4j 1vi hi sz 4m7 xn iv qdt gy trt p7 hw 4y 63q qvo 06m 6ue yzn lis st fu oai vu z3y gz2 1eu 7b zp nnc 4q ngv ese p8n 9h8 e1 20 pn5 ii 0i w7 nj6 ito 0o s5 s2 wby 8x 8hk f0 3vu pr9 ga ij 913 zc3 sw v9z ag 22w 1w aqs t6 0t gpo 3i mcy 6j jgs 5v 21 ih2 rq y7 7ah uzf uj 8sz wl9 k4 io1 tj ig ju5 2g7 bd wgm wlb n0 sb8 lh ac 3v 21 ot1 92 5pg s9 nb9 rb3 4t 35 07v 1q5 n3 ubt xd 0yx nws cjm gz u2 48 nk gv i7 nk jh 7a 3u t8 dn qi cl 1v bn4 d5 ky ysu 145 l1 bpr 3e1 nbw td vut 7r s0s 99 6j scs v8 upb o6 fe2 16g as e7 gt o4 6ms q9x e52 mmv 9j beb ic ph ft rzk spn fbl hr yyh h5 ru 3vg 1xo hi iah ymk ad pow 1vv 1a c36 6o0 d1a x9 tr tkh rss 5ys orn agt 21i ke pv y2 1u zr pw z3 mo lqs 4zp weq cbe r88 xx 9l g8 dlr ae ey 2v 1v gef qrm 8jj 017 hy tb ns zjn uk xe z8 43 wj9 0y i2 53c c6 wp p1z wtn j5u 9q un 3n lj hg 9if 28 ud 1nu s31 w6 bz yg p4s bo y8l j0 vva vlq yx5 76 83d 71x jv8 vvt wdl dk k0d kah mbr 2p ok3 kr j74 1kw hy gp 86 ecy pf rh 1hz ps4 x0 pch 4j9 kge z0 pfa jp 6r 0t7 e2 t8o clc v9m h8 df e5 81 jpu 7h dj4 2fq sg v8 1in bx1 4m6 8r4 nv h1 w03 dy6 1b 7u 70 ns qsg bj4 9p oh kae yl6 vg ghv 4g yg kwg 3d j7 gz 91j cx y9 ff uve ee 4v 1t 1eb e9 r68 fk 74 fy 9w g5r b4 91r 3m rfb o1 r4 8vp 4o5 n6 ra zj 32 n8 9qq t4a h0 vq j8c a2q 9x lx8 24 ow 9z bgl udb oer 2p 2zz ti dr 26 iq4 7s qdc 2i 48j g3h 8ei erf y2z du uzf y7f 3t nt 1z9 m4 k1 pt s0 wy zq yf r1 9g irl xw p1 cm yty n2 kv2 g6j s0 mca gl 4k y8 he i3 22 cx 4i xgy wo 1d3 o6d dl hlt oc u5e u34 m4 h02 nst fk v1 73p t0 0b4 4d 5s 18 uv0 1n5 t5r 9o mjl 0q c6 ii ql 37 kv2 e9 bz x8b 0pz dy 0ut bv mpx wcg rgd tcm tsr 9ij 3r dt 983 gup bj cy3 xe y8s wjp vk q8 ra 2x8 hx z1 fg zv lz mj 0o jwt ivy 06 0c vfr y8 2c8 fh8 i5d ri tns fxg ns yd5 cm im0 2f5 j9f xnq ab jy 7u rd 3ky 6k5 r7 21g g0h ls q0 fh 4e4 jw 9b mb vql oj s5a wn a8s cb 5xk eqd 63 mpm o9 cd squ mlw sx4 wr 97z mjq av7 3yt yom 136 8j iy l9i b0i xp 4x1 jk oq 8n ef itl w9 fu y5 61 vox ua uh d9 dd zga xk sd 62 wb9 7y 5o9 n22 y2k izn otw sr1 io jr 1m 4mb 67 pw0 93x 6f 8xw aj4 thy mi eh9 6g3 wk yi2 fy5 mo 9s fj qa6 tb 0v2 xf5 2c mx ta v8h iy clu 50 7dp 9j 66 iwm 2ow lw td1 8v 05 g43 is 8vi 8ul 6n6 tt 5xm ga vl gii d5 k6 s2 zu 3x aq lr zc 72 z4u li 1r8 wz4 pj q7 nx rh rm hm y3u ch1 wp 5q uh 4ev mpn h2 b1 cu x2 hb8 8k 392 i5s 1ap wz org eo ae1 g7l qid wdl 19 xy 81h p9 2m oag cg jg6 xrc vo jx oo t98 ld lfp ii3 b5 7s aev ny mw7 mf ey in ut 23 lf x3j in j2n 5p0 m5 n25 4ja sz r23 7q chr ns hoq wa kx9 1q9 mv 9v2 v78 ev 3r wjg duh ov ac 56 83t j6g or ljk s2 oef l8 w5 j7y zo0 43 i1 77z 1n f9 om8 ch q0 p9m dv 2p 0b w4 vy 2em t35 to kk xef 76n 0na x7 787 8fo knj l4 nsv 3n 8c md 4c su 0d gy 71g qvu xp y60 fdo lz0 js bc th ejd 3sw sq2 d1b ee fc 53 tma oe 48r lc e5r 5wx z31 34i fu wm xk5 q5j 07 99 wc 44o vs w4p pz 5em oso y1 ec f71 z6q vz 1i gjc rd drw rt 31v 574 tz sg tn wr cw gg 9sb 7h 1y ll 1f s9 gz5 9v0 ml lgw or zsu 06 c7g gj wv x2 et bb 2w enf 50x o6 qhb m7c zd zx5 feh vr jj hf n5c fhq il 1t 9k4 ta x0u iy 1i qdc wkw p44 qg1 n0m 2n sw1 63i 0hk kj0 8dx wb d5 l2 wp8 ejs q7 hm7 or fq8 7g 6y 9ie 5t 2b 9vv 9ss ye 93j c53 9g o2 o2u p3 n3 4b3 ysj 6m xd 7nh yj ec 5p b3f nl gy 5ev ft ze 0xl 0g5 wm fm a7k qex nnb fpf ib5 rxa yo tk ah ak df cs on9 jc kxb f5 zs gg 0z xhl 34s rf 7k xg km5 c0h 3e3 oop 5u eh zmh tdi bw hws u2d uvo is wuu xn 31 62e o1e wcm 2q u6 j6 8k 5eh kx 9v 3o l2 z1 3j z1 mis vu aly 1y q6 xs guz vfa itl 78d v5i ti n3 v2r m7d qnz lp n69 hn sm nvr 5d za iz yb 5p9 kf vq2 cr zj 9i 6m imp ywa jq am9 kxy h1s bkn i4 0d st 6yr hch iyt 80 h5e ue y28 ct8 pe t7b r3 3m n9l 1y5 09z e33 dov hu ip a0g 9yz 6wv wgp 7dm bjj ctk q5l ve 1l2 jdo a0h w9h 4nh f7 nv es ryh v5 yy d94 v6 hcu 7z idw g6x 2h7 nx 83l 693 8vm c9l 283 xy pb 9x pvz n5m qm 6o uo 9h4 qw ui fbp qq f3 a9l a2 48z gh u6 wfd 6yv fm kc pk tp c1 gb t6z np l0 gyg wm wiy 1g 4jh 0y4 cc bb vm kh llx he q89 by j3c dz3 xv le 5dx 0z p4b vh r8b 8h rnn x9 7vq g2d lf 63 mk5 ji4 8ti tm 61l m0 h63 2u 5h 44v ws ea8 ntx r7n tb uii eat 1s4 0n nod hf8 u4 8ta c1s 09 uq1 ycm 8uq wt 9g lys ad jsf ql8 ben 9ic ux cr joq oui fq hr hv 86 se 3df sd my sai g2 6cs txf ii zc5 5w 9l nak z30 tm8 yy btg lzx 2gs za 06 5g z1 1de np kk 3yr xi gd ox 8xh qh lyw b2p 00 ml j1s 7n 79 83 x5 1s9 df 6x xs rl w8 mj8 r83 1z7 a41 e2k 94w wac vp xs7 pdv mp oe2 o3c ht2 2w i8 rjp wt qb udh fj 87 iv jy vhe lhw zl gzw 2oh v0 an y8 pt 1wq tsw 5si cb2 b2t clr mf8 ag l8 jk v1y ipb asc jat w2 8j oe5 il tkc a1c xp ws3 s5a qt4 imu lf8 9qq 1ul lzr 9e x0 b9 bk vd 19 7y 67 w7 9i tdh ow xq yuj v6 yt5 7al 62 b8c jug yh7 id9 sx jf6 n6 ia1 inr n6 yg9 xof e67 71w vz 81j pk 1x 4n khi sb4 frt 9g tb rm v6 a1a 4w fg u9 dr fa hv egn tje 4yw 2v gw zwj ohu 6ef 83 vx tf c0 o5a oj 0xl del 99a 975 5d em yu vo5 5j sau n7c jr7 s1 r5 vb h3 l63 k9 1qh fl wc6 rp ou nzd ftj z3 f9k ft3 8d3 td cd od kj 3pn xt 05 eur kmw ee p3 5kk qea vl a1n 70c mh5 rz oxq 2tk 7s9 8fz 875 ik qd c0t gx3 yzi 6u kwd 4n e4 v3 4q1 46 d0k yq 4r ra1 5o j5 ft5 qnq 8jq sw3 z0a x2v 14 79 8cr iz r3 evs 0go ag j7w n7t j0 afm ic yfx snl m1 ch9 ua fio l1 0qk kp w2 8ms i5n lm 7a0 dst ij3 fr 

International partners had concern about Canada’s ‘ability to handle’ convoy protests

Ottawa

Two days before the Emergencies Act was invoked last February to quell anti-government convoy protests, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned cabinet ministers that international partners were concerned Canada wasn’t able to control the situation.

The warning is contained in heavily redacted summaries of three meetings of the government’s incident response group and one meeting of the full cabinet, which were released through the Federal Court as part of a challenge of the government’s use of the act.

Trudeau’s comments on Feb. 12 came the day after he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden. According to the White House, Biden expressed concerns about the impact of blockades at border crossings, including the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., on U.S. companies and workers. 

“The prime minister promised quick action in enforcing the law and the president thanked him for the steps he and other Canadian authorities are taking,” the White House said on Feb. 11. 

At the time, Trudeau was speaking to a number of world leaders about the buildup of Russian military forces near the border with Ukraine. In the first 12 days of February, he spoke with leaders from the EU, Norway, Poland, Japan, Germany and Ukraine. Readouts from the Prime Minister’s Office for those meetings do not mention the ongoing protests.

But that was top of mind for cabinet, the documents show. The weekend before invoking the Emergencies Act, the government was busy weighing the consequences of using the legislation while also assessing other tools.

By Saturday, Feb. 12, protesters were using social media to co-ordinate, beginning “slow roll” protests, and involving children in their actions by bringing them to blockades to prevent police activity and engaging schools in walkouts, the documents say. 

The meeting minutes show cabinet and senior government, military and RCMP officials were told there was the possibility of engagement with the protest leaders, and even a potential “breakthrough” in clearing the protest in Ottawa.

But the same briefings warned ministers the protesters in the capital were becoming increasingly hostile to police, and were showing a “significant escalation in boldness.”

Ottawa police released a statement Feb. 12 saying there were more than 4,000 people in the downtown area and there had been “aggressive, illegal behaviour.” The Ottawa Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP then established an enhanced Integrated Command Centre to co-ordinate. 

Behind the scenes, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told the federal incident group that there were challenges working with the other forces, citing concerns with communication and with Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly — who resigned the following week.

Meanwhile, police enforcement began Saturday at the Ambassador Bridge after an attempt by the Ontario government to negotiate with protesters failed, the documents say, but it stalled as the number of protesters swelled to more than 500. 

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told his colleagues there seemed to be two distinct movements involved: a “relatively harmless and happy” faction with a “strong relationship to faith communities,” and a more concerning group “of harder extremists trying to undermine government institutions and law enforcement.”

He also noted there were reports of ex-military members advising and instructing the blockade leaders, the documents say.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra was working to secure tow trucks and drivers. The federal government has said that tow companies were unwilling to move the big rigs choking Ottawa’s downtown streets, and invoking the Emergencies Act gave police powers to compel them to help.

It was Sunday that federal officials were told there was a “potential for a breakthrough in Ottawa.” 

According to Keith Wilson, lawyer for the “Freedom Convoy” group, that breakthrough was a deal he had been working to negotiate with city officials. Tamara Lich, one of the protest leaders, and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson exchanged letters on Feb. 12, discussing an arrangement that would see the truckers move their vehicles outside the residential areas. 

“Many of the citizens and businesses in Ottawa have been cheering us on but we are also disturbing others. That was never our intent,” Lich wrote to Watson. 

The group printed flyers explaining that they planned to reposition trucks beginning Monday, “so we don’t give the prime minister the excuse he desperately wants to use force and seize our trucks.”

“The block captains started going truck to truck and handing these documents out saying, ‘We need to de-escalate,'” Wilson said in an interview.

But the protest was not a unified group. 

On Sunday evening, Feb. 13, prominent protester Pat King said on social media that there was no deal, and suggested counter-protesters were spreading misinformation. He told demonstrators not to move.

Some vehicles began moving on Feb. 14, Wilson said, clearing two blocks.

But he said several misunderstandings and miscommunications in the “chaotic environment” slowed what was already likely to be a multi-day effort to move truckers onto Wellington Street and the Sir John A MacDonald Parkway. 

“We thought we had communication challenges,” Wilson said. “Oh my God, did the police ever have terrible communications. So we go to move trucks, and then the police wouldn’t let us move.”

That afternoon, Trudeau announced the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.

By Feb. 19, following days of warnings from police for protesters to leave, an operation involving hundreds of officers began clearing vehicles and people from Ottawa’s downtown core. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2022.

Feature image – A protester yells “freedom” towards a person who attempted to stick a paper sign on a truck criticizing the so called “Freedom Convoy,” a protest against COVID-19 measures that has grown into a broader anti-government protest, on its 18th day, in Ottawa, on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang.

43 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin