“Freedom convoy”: soldiers against trucks

“Freedom Convoy”: Military vs Trucks< /p> UPDATE DAY

OTTAWA | Ottawa police were discussing a military intervention just five days after the first trucks of the “freedom convoy” arrived in the federal capital.

C' reads Ottawa Police meeting notes dated February 1, 2022, filed yesterday in evidence before the Emergency Measures Board of Inquiry.

The convoy de la liberté was then installed in the capital since January 28, that is to say for five days.

Following this meeting, on February 2, Chief Peter Sloly declared at a press conference that he feared that there was no “police solution” to the crisis and that “other solutions” had to be considered.

The next day, February 3, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that sending the army to the streets of Ottawa was “not in the cards”.

“You have to be very, very careful before you deploy the military to domestic situations. This is not something that should be taken lightly,” he explained, specifying that he had not received a formal request to this effect.

At this point, the federal government was in the process of of losing confidence in the Ottawa police, according to a series of text messages entered into evidence at the commission on Thursday.

As a result, the government soon after began to consider using the emergency measures, according to these same text messages.

Ex-Chief Sloly, who resigned on February 15, the day after this law of last resort was invoked, testified before the commission yesterday. He said that his services did not want emergency measures because he did not think he had the means to use the powers that this law would give them.

Immaturity

Mr. Sloly testified that the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) failed due to its own internal problems:

“Despite the arrival of resources, the OPS and its structural immaturity could not reach the level of excellence required,” he said

He explained that his own confidence in his deputies had been badly shaken during the first week of the occupation when they replaced the commander of field operations, in the midst of a crisis, without telling him.

Blame the media

Despite this, the former police chief blamed the media and misinformation which he said undermined public confidence in the Ottawa police.

“It's really unfortunate because public confidence in the police service, I think, is essential to public safety,” he said very emotionally.

“It was too cold , it was too much, but they did their best and I have a lot of gratitude for them, they should be congratulated, they should be understood”, he underlined, in tears, as he spoke of his teams exhausted and under pressure.

Mr. Sloly indicated that it was ultimately the loss of confidence in him, particularly on the part of elected municipal officials, that led him to resign.

Information

Like his ex-colleagues in the Ottawa police, Mr. Sloly reiterated that nothing in the intelligence reports he had received before the first trucks arrived pointed to another demonstration. of a weekend. He expected that there would be only a few tents left on Monday.

Yet, since the start of the commission of inquiry hearings, testimonies and documents entered into evidence showed that the Ottawa police had intelligence reports from the Ontario Police (OPP) which warned that the protesters would not leave until they win their case. 

But the ex-police chief said only a national intelligence service would have better informed his decisions and guided his officers.< /p>

He asked why he had only received intelligence reports from his team and the OPP and not from the federal services which could have consolidated information on all the different convoys and groups that came from different regions across the country.

During his pre-hearing interview with the commission over the summer, Mr. Sloly was very critical of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service ( CSIS) which he said was too focused on Islamist extremism at the expense of ds other threats to national security.