An internal survey conducted for the federal government found many Canadians dissatisfied with the police response to the Freedom Convoy in February. said the bank account freeze would never have been necessary if “more had been done”.
“Participants were generally dissatisfied with the response of the Canadian government,” said the Privy Council Secretariat report entitled “Continued Qualitative Data Collection of Canadian Views.”
“It was believed that the perceived lack of engagement of the federal government with the protesters only helped intensify these demonstrations.”
Report first obtained by black rock reporterwas based on findings from focus groups held across the country from March 3-28.
Freedom Convoy, which began on January 29 and ended on February 20, began as a demonstration in Ottawa by truck drivers against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border travel. It grew exponentially when supporters across the country joined to demand an end to all pandemic-related orders.
On February 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked an emergency law in response to the protests, giving police “more tools” to quell the demonstrations. He said it was to “keep Canadians safe” from “illegal and dangerous activities” that he said were taking place in the United States.
Convoy organizers insisted the protests were peaceful, did not engage in illegal activities, and sought to defend the rights and freedoms of the Charter. were arrested and 119 were charged with criminal offenses.
A report from the Privy Council Secretariat said that “the use of this law was felt by those more supportive of the protests to represent a marked excess by the federal government.”
The researchers noted that many Canadians opposed to the Freedom Convoy also feel the use of the Emergency Act is unnecessary.
“Some of those who felt the law should not be enforced were primarily against the protests and more was being done to quell the protests first at all levels of government. If they had, they felt the law wasn’t necessary in the first place,” the report said.
Trudeau had refused to meet or send representatives to the motorcade organizers during the three-week protests in Ottawa.
The Liberal government also enacted an emergency economic stimulus order on February 15, authorizing the freezing of the financial accounts of convoy sympathizers who donated to the RCMP cause, resulting in the closure of 257 bank and credit union accounts. A total of $7.8 million was frozen from 170 accounts. Bitcoin wallet as of February 23rd.
The report found that about the same number of respondents spoke positively about the protests and those who opposed them, and some others were unsure.
“Among those supporting the protests, the rallies were largely peaceful and it was commonly believed that protesters were mistreated by law enforcement and public officials,” the researchers wrote.
“Furthermore, some participants believed that media coverage of these protests was almost entirely one-sided, portraying the demonstrations in a disproportionately negative light. “
“The core of the movement is anger, hostility and, too often, violence,” Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters on February 16.
Convoy supporters viewed the protests as a “grassroots movement,” according to the report’s findings.
“[Supporters] Expressing their feelings of encouragement and uplifted by what they felt was a largely grassroots movement of people coming from across Canada to protest unfair and unnecessary public health demands. ”