A week after anti-COVID-19 mandate protestors came in Ottawa, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki texted the OPP to warn them that the federal government was losing or had already lost faith in the neighborhood police force.
In his testimony on Thursday at a public hearing concerning the Liberal government’s decision to use the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique argues that the temporary and extraordinary powers of the Act were required to end blockades.
A document containing text conversations Carrique and Lucki exchanged is among the new evidence presented at the inquiry. It demonstrates that the RCMP commander was aware of ministers’ worries regarding the capabilities of the Ottawa police force to handle protests.
Later, Lucki claimed to be on a call with cabinet ministers but did not identify them.
Among the eight federal cabinet members who have volunteered to testify at the investigation in the upcoming weeks are Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, and Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.
What kind of resources the OPP provided to Ottawa and other places coping with blockades has been the main topic of discussion among the lawyers for the investigation in their questioning to Carrique.
In his evidence, he claimed that the OPP, which is in charge of maintaining order in close to 330 municipalities and on the province’s main thoroughfares, was informed of the “Freedom Convoy’s” impending arrival in Ottawa about two weeks beforehand.
He claimed he thought Ottawa police would prevent big trucks from driving into the city and parking near Parliament Hill, and that if he had known otherwise, he would have inquired further and even offered more assistance.
The demonstrators were demonstrating a “commitment for long-term activity,” according to the force’s intelligence, and they were also making “demands that could not be realized in the short term, or at all,” he added.
Carrique spoke with the commission in advance of his testimony on Thursday; a synopsis of that conversation has been made available.
It demonstrates that the head of the OPP did not believe it was prudent for the Ottawa police or city leaders to have publicly called for 1,800 additional officers to handle the protests because it made it appear to the demonstrators that they were overburdened.