Before triggering the state of emergency law, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a phone call on February 14 with state and territory prime ministers, some of whom said lifting COVID-19 restrictions was the way forward. He said his actions would “make the situation worse”. According to handwritten notes from the meeting.
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford has told Prime Minister Trudeau and others he was very supportive of the call, but said he would give up his vaccine passport.
The information was recorded in a memo by Trevor Holloway, a senior intergovernmental official in the Executive Council and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe’s office.
Holloway’s memo was presented in evidence to the Public Order Emergency Committee on November 10. The Public Order Emergency Commission is investigating the Liberal government’s invocation of a state of emergency law last winter to address cross-border protests and blockades calling for the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
“I never liked throwing away things like vax passports, but I did,” Holloway’s note paraphrases Ford. Ontario abolished his passport on March 1st.
Other prime ministers also spoke on regulatory issues.
“PT [provinces and territories] Moved to discuss lifting restrictions.See plan [to] Remove restrictions at the border,” Holloway’s memo paraphrased Manitoba’s Premier Heather Stephenson.
Stefansson opposed the invocation of this law.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs told participants on a conference call that his state had announced a path to reopening.
“It’s not a loss for science,” he was quoted as saying.
“Ottawa is a problem. Trucker vaccine passports will be difficult to hold. ‘Road Forward’ and talk about Ottawa,” the memo paraphrases Higgs.
Higgs also opposed declaring an immoral emergency, saying it would make the situation worse.
Another memo from the meeting, written by Brian Crowe, Trudeau’s deputy chief of staff, said Prince Edward Island Prime Minister Dennis King was in attendance. Good feeling Invoking the act, Holloway’s memo does not indicate any method.
However, according to Holloway’s memo, he also raised the issue of lifting restrictions during calls.
“I don’t want to over-politicize. Find a way to take the sharp edge out of politics. Five to six weeks of vax passports and other measures cut,” the memo paraphrases King.
and press release King, issued Feb. 14 after the subpoena, said his state did not need the act but would respect “the decision to provide further assistance to states that need it.”
Nova Scotia’s Prime Minister Tim Houston had opposed the act’s invocation, but his position on the restriction is not clear in the notes, suggesting he supported lifting it.
“Same place as everyone else[,] It’s time to move forward, not backward,” he was quoted as saying.
The memo did not say whether Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe mentioned lifting restrictions during the meeting, although his state had announced it was doing so a few days ago.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Fury has strongly supported the declaration of a state of emergency, making it clear that he does not believe protesters are focused on lifting restrictions.
“Don’t believe it’s about vax’s orders. Believe the general outrage against the state. The few can’t be appeased. The situation is no longer acceptable,” Holloway’s memo said. I am rephrasing it as if
Trudeau shared some of his thoughts, replying to then-Alberta Premier Jason Kenny that the issue was “not about truck drivers.”
“The last time we held FMM, [first ministers’ meeting], asked not to proceed with the truck driver’s power of attorney. It was an unnecessary provocation. The words used went too far,” the memo reports Kenny said.
The memo states that Trudeau was “sensitive to inflammatory issues and conscious of lifting restrictions. Always step by step. Rule of law nation.”
Ottawa began lifting restrictions much later than the state, with federally regulated workplace and domestic travel vaccine mandates expiring in June and border rules against unvaccinated expiring on October 1. .