A startling new trove of documents revealed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government considered using tanks against peaceful protesters who were part of this year’s Freedom Convoy protests.
Participants sought to end the nation’s draconian COVID-19 vaccine mandates and peacefully carried out demonstrations in several locations. In response, Trudeau enacted the nation’s Emergencies Act, which is similar to martial law.
On Feb. 2, The Public Order Emergency Commission looked at taking the government’s countermeasures against protesters to an entirely new level. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino messaged Justice Minister David Lametti with “how many tanks are you asking for?”
He added that he wanted to inquire with the defense minister as to how many were on hand.
Lametti answered with “I reckon one will do!”
The exchange further included a reference to the Ottawa Police Service chief as “incompetent” for not dispersing crowds from the Parliament Hill area. A third government official chimed in that a provincial premier’s worries about the federal response was “bonkers.”
Private Documents Reveal Trudeau Was Going to Use Tanks to Stop Freedom Convoy Protests https://t.co/P2rpWf6ARG
— Dee from The Country 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@deeidamae) November 27, 2022
Trudeau’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 triggered the current inquiry into federal actions. The result is a revealing look at messages between Cabinet members that most likely believed would remain private.
Now thousands of pages of documents are seeing the light of day.
Among Trudeau’s actions were freezing bank accounts of demonstrators, prohibiting travel to protest locations, and ordering tow trucks to remove vehicles blocking Ottawa roadways.
Under questioning by a commission lawyer, Lametti declared that he was only “being prudent” by raising martial law measures early in the emergency. He said such actions had to be considered “whether or not it was going to be an option.”
On Wednesday, the Cabinet member claimed that the reference to using tanks was “meant to be a joke between two friends.” He said he would word his statement differently now and that it was the result of the “heat of the moment.”
The protests, which began in late January and carried on until Feb. 19, forced some government officials out of their Ottawa homes, including Lametti. He also conceded that his words carried the authority of his office and could be perceived negatively by the Canadian public.