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Commissioner Rouleau: Fake News about the Freedom Convoy was amplified by legacy media

According to Paul Rouleau’s Public Order Emergency Commissioner (POEC) report covering his assessment into the federal governments use of the Emergencies Act, misinformation and disinformation about the Freedom Convoy was amplified by legacy media outlets.

Rouleau wrote in his report the media smeared peaceful protesters with a goal to discredit them.

“I am also satisfied that there was misinformation about the Freedom Convoy, which was used as a basis to unfairly discredit all protesters. In one example, protesters were blamed for an act of arson in an apartment building, which the police later confirmed had no links to the protests,” wrote Rouleau.

“Where there was misinformation and disinformation about the protests, it was prone to amplification in news media. OPP Superintendent Pat Morris testified that, as the officer leading the collection of intelligence for the OPP, what he was seeing in the media did not always reflect what the intelligence was showing.”

A building arson attempt circulated by media outlets reporting the incident including Liberal and NDP MPs and several times by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

Far-left Anti-Hate Network spread fake news about the Freedom Convoy by sharing a fake poster online. At the height of the annoyance of protesters in Ottawa, Bernie Farber the chair of Anti-Hate Network posted an image of an antiemetic poster which later was revealed to have been photographed in Miami, Florida.

“The Freedom Convoy garnered support from many frustrated Canadians who simply wished to protest what they perceived as government overreach. Messaging by politicians, public officials and, to some extent, the media should have been more balanced, and drawn a clearer distinction between those who were protesting peacefully and those who were not,” wrote Rouleau.

Commissioner Rouleau found the governments evidence had ‘no basis’ to believe the Freedom Convoy was controlled by a foreign funded disinformation campaign.

CBC anchor Nil Koksal during a live broadcast last year with Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino claimed the Freedom Convoy was influenced by “Russian actors“, CBC later silently apologized.

“Evidence from the Government of Canada indicated that there was no basis to believe that the Freedom Convoy was the product of a foreign disinformation campaign,” wrote Rouleau. 

According to Rouleau “was appropriate” for the government to invoke the Emergencies Act. The POEC report was released on Friday and ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act to quash Freedom Convoy protesters last year was justified but any knowledge individual could draw a different conclusion.

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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