Border Agency deemed cross-border protests low risk, but threat language increased as state of emergency declared

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) rated the threat posed by cross-border protests and blockades as “low” throughout last winter’s events, the former president said on November 16 in a public order emergency. told the commission.

But when the liberal government was invoking the Emergency Act to deal with the protests on the afternoon of February 14, the CBSA changed the wording of its assessment to show that a greater threat was at hand. I got

Former CBSA President John Ossowski was presented with a “situation report” produced by his agency during the February event.

“As of 08:30 ET on February 14, 2022, the overall threat to CBSA officials and infrastructure is low,” said one status update from 10:30 am on the same day.

The line was written under the heading “Intelligence Landscape” and was preceded by the acronym “BLUF” (Bottom Line Up Front). This is a term used in intelligence analysis to indicate that the most important part of information or judgment rests on supporting facts. .

Ossowski was asked whether the “low” threat rating changed in the course of events that closed multiple border crossings or prevented passage.

“I don’t think it’s changed from low standards,” he said. “And overall, we’re looking at the national picture here, as opposed to the small things that might be happening at individual ports of entry. It was low.”

Additional information was added to the Intelligence Landscape, BLUF, as the Trudeau government was about to invoke the Emergency Act.

“There has been a significant operational impact that could pose a threat to Canada’s economic security and prosperity,” said a new line added under the unchanged Low Threat Rating.

This was included in the CBSA ‘Situation Report’ dated 4pm February 14th and was emailed at 4:43pm by the CBSA’s Border Control Centre.

A press conference by the Liberal Party minister announcing that the government had declared a security emergency schedule 4:30 p.m. on the same day.

Commission attorney Gordon Cameron asked Osoukushi why this new line was entered when the Emergency Act was invoked. He said it was the same concept used in the government’s Section 58 document to explain why the government declared a state of emergency.

“This is a familiar concept as part of the Section 58 explanation,” Cameron said.

“Exactly,” replied Osowski.

Ossowski told the committee he wasn’t sure why they decided to insert the line at the time, and that it wasn’t an attempt to support the declaration of a state of emergency.

“But when we learned of this additional sentence, our CBSA colleagues went and did some research. We decided to add a line,” he said.

“I don’t know what was their motivation for adding this, but what was being reported to me was that with all the activity that had escalated up to that point, they decided to put that particular language in. And I believe they said this was not an attempt to implicitly or implicitly uphold the Emergency Act.”

Ossowski was also asked if he knew the law enforcement agency that advised him to invoke the Emergency Act, given that Liberal Party ministers have made this claim many times.

“I don’t know who provided that advice,” he said.

With the CBSA assessing the threat from the protests as low, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lackey and CSIS Director David Vigneault told the commission that the protests pose no threat to national security.

Noe Chartier


Noé Chartier is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret