The Emergency Commission's co-lead council, Shantona Chaudhury, questioned Freeland about a memo that was circulated in February, in which she allegedly said, "I am very resolute in ending this occupation of our democracy. But I will never support negotiating with those who hold our democracy hostage. No good thing comes of that."
Asked by Chaudhury to explain that comment, Freeland said that it was "self-explanatory," before launching into a small speech that seems on the surface to be a statement devaluing protests in general.
"I don't think it's healthy, for a democracy, for any democracy, for policies to be made, you know, at gunpoint, if you will," Freeland said, "and that really also devalues the views and the contributions of all Canadians who express their political views and their political preferences in different ways, for example, by voting."
Chaudhury then asks if she is referring specifically to the "vaccine mandates, to public health measures, or more generally," to which Freeland responded by admitting that she didn't even remember having the conversation at all.
"I don't have a sort of photographic or video memory of exactly how that conversation evolved, and in fact, I didn't remember saying this until I read it again," she said, "but I'm sure that's a faithful account."
She continues, "having read this note, what I think I was referring to is a comment made earlier in the conversation, suggesting that the solution to this was a change in policy on vaccines. That's what I think I was responding to."
The Freedom Convoy protest that came to Ottawa at the beginning of 2022 was a largely peaceful affair, despite Liberal narratives suggesting otherwise and using these narratives to justify invoking the Emergencies Act for the first time since its creation.
Trudeau's government cracked down hard on the protests, at the time referring to it as an insurrection. The government also used the Emergencies Act to freeze the bank accounts of anyone suspected or aiding the convoy.
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