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OPP officer says no credible evidence of Convoy violence | Day 5 Emergencies Act Inquiry

The bombshell testimony in cross-examination of Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) intelligence officer Pat Morris confirmed that there was no intelligence that indicated the Freedom Convoy met the very high legal threshold required for the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act.

Miller persisted in pressing Morris, whose responsibility it was to oversee the OPP’s intelligence gathering, about the requirements for sufficient evidence that must be reached before the government may declare a national emergency and use the Act.

“I saw online rhetoric, I saw information on social media, I saw assertions of that type of activity. I’m aware of no intelligence that was produced that would support concern in that regard,” said Morris.

Miller then asked: “You didn’t see any evidence in the intelligence of activities within or relating to Canada directed toward or in support of a threat or use of acts of serious violence against property for the purpose of achieving a political, religious or ideological objective within Canada or in a foreign state?”

Morris answered: “In relation to the things you’re discussing, we collected all the information which some information asserted attempts at that. We did see that and had to consider that. Did we have any credible intelligence that that would occur? No.”

When Miller asked Morris if federal intelligence agencies would not share intelligence with the OPP

“I believe that I would’ve been informed,” Morris said. “I received no information in relation to the probability of that activity.”

You can watch the entirety of Convoy lawyer Brendan Miller’s cross examination of Pat Morris below.

Morris brushed off concerns that protesters in Ottawa were armed and labelled it “hyperbole”, saying “we produced no intelligence to indicate that these individuals (protesters) would be armed. There has been a lot of hyperbole about that,” Morris said under questioning from Commission counsel.

“absolute lack of criminal activity”

A bit of time was spent by Commission counsel probing the OPP intelligence gathered on the convoy before January 28—the day protesters began to descend on Ottawa.

Morris stated that the “absolute lack of criminal activity was conspicuous” when questioned about potential threats and criminal conduct occurring in the convoy before January 28.

Under questioning from the Commission’s attorney, Morris stated that “There was almost no reported criminal activity of any of this activity coming across Canada,”

“So it was conspicuous for the absolute lack of criminal activity.” said Morris.

The Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), which is led by the RCMP, reported that the protests in Ottawa and at the Ambassador Bridge did not meet their threshold for a threat to national security, according to an email written by Morris that was examined during questioning by Cara Zwibel, counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Morris looks irritated at political figures in the same email, challenging them on their source of their information regarding “extremist involvement” in the convoy.

“Further, I have witnessed the attentiveness and engagement of many persons evolve from virtually nil to significant involvement.” Morris wrote “This alteration in engagement has occurred with an increasing degree of ‘expert status’. But many of these discussions are far from expert – they are highly politicized, hyperbolic, self serving and overwhelmingly informed by media editorials”

Morris said before the inquiry that the OPP intelligence bureau did not view “open fires,” “honking,” or “ideological fringe elements” as threats.

Morris also discussed how deeply OPP operatives were inserted into the protests in order to gather information about the “mood, tenor, and plans” of the demonstrators.

Morris testified that the protests never met the OPP’s threshold for a threat to national security, but the protests were labelled as a “potential” of posing a threat to national security in intelligence reports, in part because of the “threat to [Canada’s] reputation by virtue of coverage in the international media of what was transpiring in Canada,” as it is stated in an OPP intelligence report.

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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