On Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino's office claimed that his words were misinterpreted, after several police forces said that they never requested that the government invoke the Emergencies Act.
Misunderstandings do happen, but when one takes a look at what exactly Mendicino said in the weeks and months after the Act was used to remove peaceful protestors from the Ottawa protests that paralyzed the city's core for much of February, it becomes clear that someone is lying.
During Wednesday's Question Period, the minister in question defended himself by saying that the tools in the Emergencies Act were what the police forces needed to remove protestors—specifically the ability to compel towing companies to haul away protestors' vehicles after they refused to do so.
Mendicino seemed to be suggesting that the Trudeau government was listening to the concerns of Canada's police forces, and that they determined independently that it was time to use the never-before-used Act. Troublingly though, the minister was also trying to trick the Canadian public by saying that this is what he had been saying the whole time.
Quotes from the minister of gaslighting include him saying that "we invoked the Emergencies Act after we received advice from law enforcement," and "The advice we received was to invoke the Emergencies Act." Not so ambiguous.
Mendicino was pressed by Conservative MP Dan Lloyd, who quoted the minister who repeatedly said that police recommended that the government invoke the Act.
"Now we know that not a single police force in this country made that recommendation," he said.
Evidence is mounting against Mendicino's case, to the point where it would just be best to admit that the government invoked the Act on its own accord. This, however, will likely never happen thanks to the immense pride and ego of the Trudeau Liberals
Has any police force said that they requested the Act be invoked? In short, no.
Former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly recently testified that, to his knowledge, a request for the act to be invoked was never made by himself or anyone in the Ottawa Police Service prior to his resignation.
"I did not make that request and I'm not aware of anyone else in the Ottawa Police Service who did," Sloly told a committee on Thursday.
Before this, Interim Police Chief Steve Bell told a committee hearing that police were involved in conversations with federal ministries, but said that "We didn’t make a direct request for the Emergencies Act."
Bell himself was echoing statements made by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, who said in early May that no such request was made to the Trudeau Liberals.
Liberal minister Marco Mendicino had said on February 28 that the Trudeau government was "acting on the advice of law enforcement members."
"Mr. Speaker, the Emergencies Act was essential to law enforcement success in ending blockades and protests across the country," said Mendicino.
"We always said we would not keep the act in force for any longer than was necessary, and we made good on that commitment. As we have said since the beginning, we are acting on the advice of law enforcement members and giving them the tools they need. We will continue to provide all of the enforcement tools that are required to maintain public safety."
Mendicino continued to say this throughout April, when he told committee that the protests were a "massive illegal occupation" and that the Trudeau government was engaged with law enforcement to ensure that the correct measures were taken.
"However, when efforts using existing authorities proved ineffective, the advice we received was to invoke the Emergencies Act," he said, according to the Globe and Mail.
Mendicino has claimed that there was a strong consensus among law enforcement that the Act was necessary, saying that the government sought the advice of law enforcement before invoking the Act.
Using the Act has set a precedent, and police forces not advocating for the Act's use makes it an even more dangerous one. Mendicino and the rest of the Trudeau Liberals have a lot to answer for. Whether there will be any consequences, though, is another question.
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