Documents released by the Public Order Emergency Commission have revealed that a number of officials in the Canadian government had discussed the possibility of sending in the military to quash the Freedom Convoy protests that took over Ottawa and other parts of the country earlier this year.
Plans to send in the army never made it past the planning stage, however many have questioned why such action was considered at all.
According to the Canadian Press, Deputy Minister of National Defence Bill Matthews admitted in an August interview with public inquiry lawyers that he had alerted the military about potential intervention in Ottawa.
He later explained that the plans were dead in the water due in part to fears over repeating the mistakes made in the 1990 Oka Crisis, wherein the military was sent in to disband an Indigenous-led protest in Quebec. The move was widely criticized by Canadians, and helped usher in the creation of the UN's Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Sending in the army to end what had largely been a peaceful protest in Ottawa would likely have garnered similar disdain towards the government.
Matthews and Associate Deputy Minister Stefanie Beck also revealed that the Canadian Armed Forces was considering flying law enforcement officers to protest sites across the country to make up for the fact that their tow trucks were too big and old to be of assistance in Ottawa, where vehicles occupied the downtown core.
As the Canadian Press reports, while the vast majority of those calling for intervention were Liberals, text messages between former Alberta premier Jason Kenney and Justice Minister David Lametti show the UCP leader was discussing potential military action, as well.
Lametti came under fire recently after a separate text message exchange showed him allegedly joking with Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino about sending in tanks to disperse protestors in Ottawa.
The exchange took place on February 2, twelve days before the Emergencies Act was controversially invoked.
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