A spokesperson for the Quebec group Farfadaas testified before the Public Order Emergency Commission on Tuesday, repeating what he heard in recent weeks that the group had blocked a key intersection in Ottawa during last winter’s Freedom Convoy protests. disputed the claim of
“We didn’t occupy Rideau and Sussex,” Steve Charland told the commission many times.
The matter had been brought up to him repeatedly and in so many ways that Commissioner Paul Rouleau stepped in to say that Charland had dealt with it.
Charland acknowledged that there may have been members of his group in the area, but was unaware that his group had attempted to hold the area.
“The Farfadars movement is massive, but we are not responsible for all Quebecers,” he said.
Charland said his group took part in the Freedom Convoy event, leading a 107-kilometer convoy from Lachute, Quebec to the Ottawa area.
The group settled in a private car park on the Gatineau side, where they signed a commercial contract with the owner.
A week after the Freedom Convoy protest was dismantled by police over the weekend of Feb. 18, Charland was arrested in the Van Creek Hill neighborhood after the liberal government invoked the Emergency Act on Feb. 14. was done.
He was charged with counseling for mischief and mischief charges.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, in addition to alleging that the group had occupied a key crossroads in the city, told the commission that a group of Quebec citizens were in fact linked to biker gangs. rice field.
“Having been briefed on this, my understanding is that there is a criminal element that appears to be involved in the biker gang community in Quebec, blocking the corners of Rideau, Wellington, Sussex and Colonel Bye. That was what the chief suggested,” Watson told the commission on October 18.
The allegations have not been substantiated, and Pat Morris, director of intelligence for the Ontario Police Department (OPP), told the commission on October 19 that Farfaders was non-violent from the Chelete du Quebec. I testified to what I was told.
Allegations of affiliation with some biker gangs were touched upon by Canadian government attorney Caroline Laverdière, but dismissed by Charland.
“Some have motorcycles, some have rollerblades,” he said.
Freedom Convoy organizer Chris Barber testified before Charland and said he had heard about Farfadarth in the context of the committee about a week ago.
In his testimony, Charland elaborated on his history of activism and advocacy, and said he was committed to nonviolence.
“It’s not in our values to turn to violence,” he said.
Infighting within groups that advocate intimidation or verbal violence report By Quebec media.
Charland was asked to comment on the Feb. 4 RCMP intelligence report, which includes screenshots of Facebook posts made during the protest.
“In a Facebook post [redacted] We call on members of FARFADAA to keep the peace,” the RCMP noted. Charland confirmed that he was behind the post.
“We don’t win wars by making wars. He wrote with a clear call for inner peace.
A spokesperson for Farfadars has previously been associated with the Quebec group La Mouthe (The Puck) was involved.
Charland uses many of his responses in testimony to criticize what he calls democracy, and the commission will decide whether Canadians still have the right to protest at home. He said he would play an important role.