A public inquiry into Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of emergency powers in February reveals that the Biden administration had pressured Trudeau into shutting down the Freedom Convoy protests.
Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time ever on February 14th after a convoy of truckers descended on Ottawa to peacefully protest Trudeau’s heavy-handed COVID-19 mandates. The Emergencies Act allowed the prime minister to ban gatherings and protests, to wield law enforcement at will, to prohibit or regulate travel and to requisition personal property, including the seizure of private and corporate funds and bank accounts. The Trudeau government froze the funds of political dissidents, including cryptocurrency accounts.
Now Canada’s Parliament has launched an inquiry, as required by law, of Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act, according to Politico.
In her testimony, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said she received a call on February 10th from National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Biden’s top economic advisor. Deese expressed the administration’s concern about the economic impact of the protests, which were blockading strategic parts of the US-Canada border and costing over $300 million a day in trade. The blockade was also throttling access to Michigan, whose car manufacturing plants rely on imported parts from their northern neighbor.
“They are very, very, very worried,” Freeland wrote in an email to her staff. “If this is not sorted out in the next 12 hours, all of their northeastern car plants will shut down.”
An analysis by Transport Canada estimated the blockades cost C$3.9 billion in halted trade.
The same day, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg contacted his Canadian counterpart, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, for a “plan to resolve” the blockades. Alghabra said the move was “highly unusual.”
Trudeau’s Deputy Chief of Staff Brian Clow was also pressured by the Biden administration, including Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez. Gonzalez asked Clow to arrange a meeting between Trudeau’s National Security Advisor Jody Thomas and officials at the Department of Homeland Security.
The meeting, which reportedly included Joe Biden, took place on February 11th.
“POTUS was quite constructive,” Clow told Freeland after the discussion. “There was no lecturing. Biden immediately agreed this is a shared problem.”
Biden also alluded to another convoy headed for Washington, D.C., inspired by the Freedom Convoy. Trudeau spoke with Biden about pressure the Americans could bring to bear on the Freedom Convoy using “money, people, and political/media support.”
Three days later, Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. The justification for Trudeau seizing these excessive powers, according to the cabinet order, was in part based on “the threat or use of acts of serious violence” and “the potential for an increase in the level of unrest and violence that would further threaten the safety and security of Canadians.”
However, as reported by America’s Frontline News, a high-ranking Canadian intelligence official confirmed in his testimony to a Parliamentary committee that there was never such a threat.