FLASHBACK: Trudeau said in 2020 'it's never appropriate' for Canada to use army on its own citizens

Earlier today, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said that "there is likely no policing solution" and strongly suggested that the military could be used to "end this demonstration."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

This article has been updated to include a statement from the Department of National Defense.

With Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly speculating that the military may be an effective tool to "resolve [the] situation substantially" with the freedom convoy, some may wonder if the prime minister would allow for such an event to take place.

If one were to take the prime minister's words at face value, the freedom convoy will not have the military called on them.

The prime minister said that the military was not an appropriate tool to use against a country's own citizens. He made those comments during the 2020 Canadian pipeline and railway protests triggered by the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline that lead to pro-Wetsuweten blockades, including on national railways, that led to a shutdown of passenger and freight rail services.

"Our focus is very much on resolving this peacefully," said the prime minister. "As I've said many times, I do not think it's ever appropriate to send the military against Canadian citizens."

Earlier today, Ottawa Police Chief Sloly said that "there is likely no policing solution to this, but in combination with other efforts, there may be other opportunity to substantially reduce if not end this demonstration."

"It is a local demonstration, provincial, national, and one with international elements associated to it," he said.

A CBC reporter then asked for Sloly to explain what he meant by non-policing solutions, asking if he meant "politics [or] military."

Sloly responded, "I think you just listed off 'most of them' right there."

A spokesperson for the Department of National Defense confirmed later on to CBC reporter Cat Tunney that “the Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”

Mayor Jim Watson added to the comments by the police chief, saying: "This whole occupation can end tomorrow if they show some empathy as they say they are. People's nerves are frayed, they haven't been able to sleep for five nights in a row. People are being harassed on the streets. They're being attacked in coffee shops. We saw someone wanted to bring a gun down to Parliament buildings."

"It's time to move on. They have the leadership of the movement who claim to be empathetic today in a press release."


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