Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino yesterday outlined details of a proposal to engage with the federal government’s Freedom Convoy protesters, but it was finally rejected by cabinet ministers two days before the Cabinet invoked the state of emergency law.
Mendicino told the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) on Nov. rice field.
“It was important to have some kind of connection with the people who were on the fleet.”
Days before the state of emergency law came into effect on February 14, Deputy Minister of Public Safety Rob Stewart sent an email to Ontario Police (OPP) Insp. Marcel Bourdain spoke out about possible involvement with Convoy protesters.
In a letter to Bourdain on February 10, Stewart said, “I would appreciate the opportunity to consult with you about engaging with protesters at the federal level so that I can provide ministers with informed advice.” We can provide it,” he said.
Both the OPP and RCMP reportedly forwarded comments on the proposal to Stewart, who submitted it to the incident response group on February 12. Clearly refused.
Stewart recently told the commission that the proposed potential engagement with the protesters was seen as a “stepping stone to enforcement” rather than as a possible peaceful resolution of the convoy.
“Wasn’t the supposed engagement, in and of itself, the end of the protest?” asked Shantona Chowdhury, the council’s counsel, on November 14.
“Right,” said Stewart.
“So what’s the intention?” asked Chowdhury.
“Shrink,” Stewart replied.
Mendicino told POEC on 22 November about Stewart’s report to the Cabinet meeting on 12 February.
“There were tasks listed by the secretaries of the Privy Council at the end of that meeting, one of which was to continue to develop potential engagement strategies,” he said. “And that’s what the deputy minister was trying to do.”
“So did you know this is being worked on by your deputy minister?” asked Chowdhury.
“Yes,” said Mendicino.
Mendicino later added that the Cabinet had “good conversations” about Stewart’s report on the proposed engagement, but ultimately decided to invoke the emergency law.
“As we saw on February 14th, I think it was finally figured out, despite the efforts of the City of Ottawa to involve some members of the occupying forces here in Ottawa,” he said. I was.
Freedom Convoy spokesperson Tom Marazzo said in an earlier interview with The Epoch Times that he was unaware of the federal government’s attempts to engage protesters.
“We obviously wanted this, but we weren’t told,” Marazzo said.
Evidence that entered the commission’s proceedings earlier this month showed a handwritten note by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s deputy chief of staff, likely from a Feb. 3 meeting the prime minister attended. rice field.
In the memo, Trudeau denies that Convoy’s protests could be resolved through verbal mediation.
“PM: No. I oppose government policy changes. Their goal is to disrupt and undermine government institutions,” Trudeau said in a Nov. 10 entry into the POEC evidence. Read Brian Crowe’s rephrased notes.
“Yes, but this is not the way to go. You cannot undermine democracy by terrorizing the population. This is bigger than the area of Ottawa.”
Mendicino told the commission yesterday that he has concerns about how to present an engagement proposal to the convoy if the cabinet decides.
“Who are you sending this to? Where is it going to be held? The situation was so volatile and so tense, how could we be sure that public safety would be maintained if we got involved in it?” .
Mendicino also said the cabinet was not sure the convoy would have a “cohesive structure”.
“It was very important to understand who you were sitting with.”
Noé Chartier contributed to this report.