The Department of Public Safety did not consider the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa a threat to national security up to at least Feb. 7, internal documents reveal.
“At this point, the RCMP is not aware of any national security criminal activity having taken place during the protest,” says a “Question Period Note” from Public Safety dated Feb. 7.
Blacklock’s Reporter obtained four such notes from the department through an access to information request, which The Epoch Times has reviewed.
The notes were produced by a policy analyst and approved by Senior Assistant Deputy Minister Dominic Rochon.
The Question Period Notes offer talking points for Liberal ministers, along with background on the protest and security matters, including information from the RCMP and the Ottawa Police Service (OPS).
They put into question some claims made by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas that protesters sought to “overthrow” the government.
“Originally in protest of the Government’s vaccination mandate for cross-border truckers and other pandemic-related public health restrictions, the overall objective of the protest is unclear, as there is no leadership structure or political program being collectively advocated,” say the notes on Feb. 3 and 7.
Some of the information is drawn from media reports, which are cited to raise the issue of “troubling behaviour by some protesters.”
It mentions the appearance of the swastika flag and the woman dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, both of which took place during the first weekend of protest.
The OPS said in April the dancing woman would not be charged and had expressed remorse.
Commenting on the protest activity, Public Safety said in the Feb. 3 and 7 notes that the “vast majority of activity in this space is non-criminal” and falls within what it calls “ideologically motivated threats to the fabric of society.”
The department defines this as espousing “extreme views” such as “racism, bigotry, and misogyny” which are “non-criminal in nature.”
Commenting on media reports of criminal investigations with “certain individual actions associated with the demonstration,” Public Safety said in the Feb. 3 note that “the actions by these individuals have not risen to the level of national security criminality and remain a Police of Jurisdiction matter.”
Federal ministers and officials have said during the public hearings of the Public Order Emergency Commission in recent weeks that they considered the protests and blockades of last winter a threat to national security and were hence justified to invoke the Emergencies Act.