Kenny upset by Fed over Coutts blockade, text shows

Former Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny has accused the province of “holding bags” for mopping up protesters in the “Freedom Convoy” that the federal government has blocked a border crossing in southern Alberta. was found in a public survey.

Documents released Tuesday to investigate the government’s decision to invoke the state of emergency law last winter included text messages between three federal ministers, including Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominique Leblanc. increase.

In a message LeBlanc received from Kenny and passed on to his cabinet colleagues, the then prime minister accused Ottawa of not caring about the closure of the Canadian-US border. CouttsAlta., and complained of the federal government’s decision to deny Alberta’s request for military equipment that could help remove protest vehicles.

LeBlanc, whose job is to work directly with state leaders, sent a message to Algabra Transport Minister and Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino on February 11. Coutts.

One message in the group chat that LeBlanc attributed to Kenny said, “Your man really ruined the dog.”

“This trucker vaccination policy is clearly just a silly political drama,” the message said, referring to federal policies requiring cross-border truckers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It seems that. The policy ignited a motorcade of protests that eventually led to demonstrators opposing his COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government elsewhere.

“Calling them all Nazis didn’t help at all, and now the states are holding the bag on enforcement,” the message read.

The message followed with claims that private vendors would not provide tow trucks and other heavy equipment to “move these crazy trucks” because protesters described as “crazy” were making death threats.

“And you guys declined our request for military equipment to help us. Apparently, the Canadian government doesn’t really care that the borders are closed,” the message said. says.

“But don’t worry, Alberta’s RCMP commander proudly told me that they had secured several psychologists to conduct profile assessments of protesters. , Vice-Chairman, does anyone know how to drive a tow truck?”

In response to the text LeBlanc said was from Kenny, Algabra wrote: LeBlanc replied, “Absolutely.” Further texts during the conversation his message was not made public.

of blockade of Coutts It forced highways and border crossings to close for more than two weeks before being dismantled on February 14 when the RCMP seized the gun and charged four men with conspiracy to murder.

The same day, the federal government moved to invoke the emergency law in response to ongoing protests in downtown Ottawa.

When commission lawyers asked LeBlanc if Kenny was referring to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a message that said, “Your man really messed up the dog,” LeBlanc testified he didn’t ask. .

“This text message was the best empathetic expression of his frustration,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the commission has seen heated exchanges between federal ministers and their provincial counterparts, especially in Ontario.

The committee has heard that members of the federal cabinet are frustrated by the Ontario government’s unwillingness to come to the table to hammer out a solution to the lockdown.

Earlier in the day, a text message from Mendicino’s chief of staff, Mike Jones, was shown to the public inquiry. He said in February that former Attorney General of Ontario, Sylvia Jones, used her swearing when telling her that she “did not take the edict.”

The Ontario government did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

In its final week, the Public Order Emergency Committee has previously said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is deeply concerned that the “freedom convoy” could provoke further protests after being beaten by demonstrators. I was listening to blockade of Coutts Windsor, Ontario has closed its borders for an additional six days.

One of the reasons the Trudeau administration insisted the emergency law was necessary was that officials were unable to persuade or find tow truck drivers willing to remove the protest vehicles.

canadian press