During the inquiry to the convoy, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino spread false claims to justify use of the Emergencies Act
To defend the Trudeau government’s use of the Emergencies Act to crack down the peaceful protest in Ottawa, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino reiterated disproven claims about the Freedom Convoy.
On Tuesday, Mendicino and Attorney General David Lametti spoke before the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency to defend the government’s use of the never used before legislation.
Mendicino falsely claimed convoy protestors represented a threat to Ottawa residents and were linked to the widely publicised fire attempt in a downtown apartment building when responding to a question about why the government took such drastic steps.
“People who live in apartment buildings find that their front doors are locked and that fires are set in the hallways and corridors,” Mendicino said before Conservative MP Glen Motz interrupted on a point of order and corrected the Liberal minister.
According to the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), the Freedom Convoy has been cleared of any involvement in the arson attempt, arresting one suspect in March and another in April
According to a Mar. 21 OPS press release, a 21-year-old man named Connor Russell McDonald was first charged for his involvement.
“A man has been charged in relation to a deliberately set fire in an apartment building on Lisgar Street on February 6, 2022. A second man is still wanted by police,” OPS wrote. “There is no information indicating MCDONALD was involved in any way with the Convoy protest which was going on when this arson took place.”
On April 6, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) released a statement about a second man arrested for the arson attempt, revealing that 41-year-old Bartosz Wernick had no connection to the Freedom Convoy protests.
Conservative MP, Glen Motz stated to Mendicino if he and the Trudeau government are so sure they met the threshold to invoke the Emergencies Act then they will cooperate with oversight. He went on to say Canadians have the right to know what details and evidence the government was using to make their decision to invoke the Emergencies Act and transparency is part of the process. Motz then asked if Mendicino and his government will share with the committee and the inquiry all the details and documents they have as evidence.
Mendicino doubled down on the false claims of the blockades in Alberta and Ontario having a ‘completely disrupted our economy’ impact on international trade.
“The blockades at ports of entry, which completely disrupted our economy, which put people laid off, which shut down businesses, which cost the economy millions” Mendicino said.
“I take that as a yes you will be undertaking to release all the information you relied on” adding.
“Just yesterday the media is reporting that in fact the economy was not impacted as you indicated in your opening remarks by hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact trade was up, industry, manufacturing was up 16% in cross boarder trade, contrary to your assertion”
Motz question how when Mendicino was “tweeting out misinformation that’s been shown to be false”, he expect Canadians to just trust him and take his word for it the information he relied on as accurate without showing the public what the information was.
Motz stated the obvious “without seeing it we can’t, I certainly don’t trust that it’s accurate until I see it”
According to Statistics Canada, data shows that border blockades that happened while convoy protests took place in Ottawa had little effect on cross-border trade. Trade at Ontario and Alberta borders with the US was up in February by 16 per cent, compared to the same time last year
During the committee, Lametti confirmed the government relied on false reports from the state broadcaster to justify seizing the bank accounts of protesters.
“There were reports. CBC reported … that there was foreign funding through a variety of different sites. The various pieces of information that we had explain the various measures that we took,” Lametti said in response to a question from Senator Gwen Boniface.
Despite evidence to the contrary, the CBC has parrotted the party line that extremists and foreign sources were behind the trucker protests.
In March, the CBC publicly retracted a news story about the convoy that falsely suggested that foreigners were the primary source of support for the protesters.
Foreigners made up a very minor part of the contributions, according to GoFundMe executives who testified before a Commons public safety committee on March 3.
“Our records show 88% of donated funds originated in Canada and 86% of donors were from Canada,” said GoFundMe president Juan Benitez.
Throughout the protests, the Liberals and the legacy media made a variety of claims about the convoy, including extremist involvement, foreign funding, and millionaires funding the movement. To date, law enforcement officials and fundraising executives have called all of these claims into question.