Parliamentarians express frustration by avoiding free territory to answer questions about emergency law


Canada’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland testified before a special committee reviewing the emergency law on June 14, but could not answer many questions and some MPs did not. I expressed my dissatisfaction.

A key request by members of the Commission is to gain access to government documents related to the enforcement of the law on February 14.

The law was called to clear cross-country protests and blockades demanding the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

So far, ministers and officials have increased the confidentiality of the Cabinet and the privileges of lawyers and clients to avoid answering some important questions.

Conservative Rep. Glen Motz asked Freeland, the highest official so far, whether the government promised to waive confidentiality to prepare the documents ordered by the Commission.

“The government has received this motion and public services are working hard on it. I think everyone here appreciates the importance of the Cabinet’s confidentiality obligations,” Freeland said.

“This probably means you won’t get anything,” Motts replied.

Vote for the enforcement of the Emergency Law and invite participants to the Free Convoy Rebel armyHas repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with not getting the answer that the Commission is looking for.

Twenty minutes after the meeting, he said he was not sure if Freeland brought additional facts, “very interested in the nature of the answer” and no “quantifiable facts” to support the enforcement of the law. Said he was concerned.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters blocked traffic on February 9, 2022 at the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, in solidarity with the Freedom Convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa. (Canadian Press / Nicole Osborn)

“I’m not talking about emotions. I’m not talking about reputation, I’m not talking about how bad we might look in the world,” he said in a question. I told Freeland.

“So I’m going to ask you a question directly: what was the economic impact of the occupation? And they meet the threshold of national security threats under Section 2 of the CSIS Act. Was it important enough? ”Green said, referring to the CSIS definition of a threat to national security.

Freeland didn’t answer directly, but he refined Green’s comment on Canada’s reputation, saying that Canada’s reputation is the key to a strong economy.

“Canada’s reputation as a reliable trading partner, a reliable investment destination, peace, order, a country with a good government, and a country with a stable and effective political system is the most valuable economic we have. Some of them, and they are the foundation of our prosperity. “

“That’s not the question I asked you,” Green reiterated his previous question about the economic implications. “I’m not talking about the lessons, I’m talking about the facts here.”

“I don’t think I’m convincing,” Freeland replied. “Economic effect [of the protest] Absolutely, it was clearly there. “

Tow truck

The issue of the availability of tow trucks to remove large vehicles at border blockades or Ottawa was cited by Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino as a reason for the need to enact an emergency law.

The towing company reportedly did not cooperate with the authorities during the protest, and the authority conferred by law forced them to do so.

Senator Claude Carignan repeatedly pressured Freeland to answer whether the United States provided Canada with a tow truck.

Freeland said discussions with U.S. counterparts focused on the impact on trade between the two countries, helping the U.S. deal with the blockade without mentioning whether tow trucks would be involved. He said he had discussed the possibilities.

At a previous committee meeting on May 10, Carignan stated that the use of Article 129 of the Penal Code could have forced the towing company without enforcing the law. Of his duty.

Epoch Times Photo
Police will inspect one of the few remaining protest trucks before towing from downtown Ottawa on February 20, 2022. (Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld)

Bloc Québécois Rep. Rhéal Fortin said Freeland wasted committee time by “skating” around the question after an hour of testimony.

“It’s a very disappointing Minister of Madame, and I don’t know what we will do to carry out the mission the house has given us. We need information and documentation, not a figure skating show. . “

Green later sought a yes or no answer, trying to find out if Freeland was taking notes of a meeting with the bank chief in connection with the freeze on the protester’s account, but she didn’t answer directly. rice field.

Green mentioned a meeting between the Treasury Department and financial institutions that the government told them that the accounts of Canada Convoy protesters needed to be frozen according to the list provided by RCMP or its own methodology. ..

“Anyone who is looking at this committee now can see you refusing to answer very basic questions, which is almost despised,” he said. Told.

Freeland brought a binder and referred to it during the meeting. As a result, Mott asked if he could submit it to the Commission.

“We danced for 90 minutes, but in reality there is no answer. And it looks as if we are referring to the binder well. Can you submit it to the committee? Yes, or No? “He said.

“I don’t apologize for the careful preparation of my appearance. I believe in doing my homework,” Freeland replied. “These notes are for my own personal use.”

No advice from law enforcement agencies

Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino reiterated that he advised law enforcement agencies to enact emergency law.

When his deputy minister, Rob Stewart, testified in front of the same committee on June 7, he said Mendicino was “misunderstood.”

The RCMP Commissioner and the current and former Ottawa Police Chief have previously stated that they did not advise or request the law.

Questions were brought to Freeland during a committee meeting.

“Did you implement the Emergency Act following the advice of law enforcement agencies?” Carignan asked.

“I personally didn’t get such advice,” Freeland said.

“Did the Minister of Public Security tell you that law enforcement agencies are proposing to you to enact an emergency law?” Carignan continued.

Freeland said there is a lot of protection for the group. “But I don’t remember such an argument.”

Noe Chartier


Noé Charter is a Montreal-based Epoch Times reporter. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret