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Cabinet Knew of Police Plan to Clear Ottawa Convoy Protest Day Before Invoking Emergencies Act, Says RCMP Commissioner

The Liberal cabinet was told on the eve of invoking the Emergencies Act that police had a plan to clear the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki testified at the Public Order Emergency Commission on Nov. 15.

The information was revealed after negotiations between parties at the commission, since cabinet deliberations are considered confidential.

After some back and forth with the Government of Canada’s legal counsel Donaree Nygard, Province of Saskatchewan counsel Mike Morris was able to ask a specific question to Lucki on the issue.

“I don’t want to know about deliberations, I just want to know if there was any mention that the RCMP, and the OPS [Ottawa Police Service], and the OPP [Ontario Provincial Police] had a plan in place that was approved, at the February 13 cabinet meeting,” said Morris.

“Yes,” replied Lucki after hesitating and looking over to Nygard.

Lucki was testifying before the commission which is examining whether the Trudeau government was justified to invoke the act to clear cross-country protests and blockades last winter.

She was questioned on speaking notes she had written for a meeting of the Incident Response Group (IRG) in the afternoon of Feb. 13, in which she said not all tools had been exhausted before invoking the act.

Lucki told the commission that she was never asked to provide her input during the IRG meeting which included the prime minister and other relevant officials.

Lucki had briefed Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino and Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair earlier that day, but it wasn’t addressed whether she had shared with them her view that other options existed before declaring a public order emergency.

However before the cabinet meeting in the evening, Lucki replied to an email request from Mike Jones, Mendicino’s chief of staff, and she provided him with her opinion on the necessity of the act.

“I am of the view that we have not yet exhausted all available tools that are already available through the existing legislation,” Lucki wrote.

Lucki told the commission she had been invited to the cabinet meeting of Feb. 13 to support the minister of Public Safety but she didn’t speak.

“Did it occur to you that you should make sure that government was aware of your views on these points before it came to land on the invocation of the Emergencies Act?” commission counsel Gordon Cameron asked Lucki.

“I guess in hindsight, yeah, that might have been something significant,” said Lucki.

Other senior police officers that testified so far at the inquiry have said the trucker-led protest in Ottawa would have been cleared without emergency powers.

“In the absence of the invocation of the Emergencies Act, the OPS, the OPP, the RCMP—as part of unified command—were going to clear the protests,” OPS interim chief Steve Bell told the commission on Oct. 24.

“We had some help with [the provincial declaration of emergency] and the Emergencies Act, but in my humble opinion, we would have reached the same solution with the plan that we had without either of those pieces of legislation,” now-retired OPP Chief Superintendent Carson Pardy told the inquiry on Oct. 21.

Inquiry Commissioner Paul Rouleau asked Lucki’s opinion on the invocation.

“Obviously I have a view now and we’ve talked about it [at the] chiefs of police round table, and we’ve talked about should we be looking at some of these authorities and looking at if there’s some regulations that can be put into place to give us additional authorities,” she said.

“It’s not for the people who are legally protesting. It’s for the ones that refuse to leave and are blocking roads and downtowns.”

Noé Chartier


Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal.

Twitter: @NChartierET
Gettr: @nchartieret

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