The RCMP was worried that after arriving in Ottawa, “Liberal Vehicles” participants would try to locate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the documents show — just as the protesters tried to do during the war. election campaign last year.
The concerns raised in assessments by intelligence officers of the national police force came as part of evidence presented at a public inquiry probing the Trudeau government’s use of the Act. Urgent to deal with the protests last winter.
The weeks-long protests, which blocked downtown Ottawa and several border crossings, were fueled by opposition to COVID-19 restrictions such as requirements for masks and vaccines. Many participants spoke out against the federal government in general and Prime Minister Trudeau himself.
Flags and signs bearing Trudeau’s name along with profanity were regularly seen on various protest sites.
At the time, Prime Minister Trudeau said opponents of federal and provincial COVID-19 health regulations in Ottawa were a “minority” with “unacceptable views”. He will testify at the Public Order Emergency Committee on Friday.
According to a threat assessment prepared on January 26 — just days before thousands of protesters, many of them in heavy trucks, began to land in downtown Ottawa. — RCMP analysts have warned that Trudeau’s whereabouts could be the target of protesters.
“It is possible that protesters will seek to determine where the prime minister is, based on his itinerary or any open source information posting his location,” the document reads.
“The possibility that some individuals in the motorcade were present at the prime minister’s location, if it is a reasonable distance to travel, is possible if his location is made public.”
As the protesters arrived in large numbers, Trudeau and his family were eventually moved to an undisclosed location for security reasons.
On January 27, Trudeau announced he would begin a five-day quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
“This news may increase frustration among individuals involved in the convoy, foster perceptions that the government is ignoring Canadians, and could lead to an increase in threats against Canadians. Prime Minister,” an RCMP report said the same day.
“It is also possible that this will prolong the protest until the Prime Minister comes out of isolation.”
News that Trudeau is in isolation due to the virus “resulted in an increase in conversations trying to locate him and claim that he was at Lake Harrington,” the prime minister’s seasonal getaway. just across the border from Quebec, read a report on Jan. 1. 31.
Speculative conversations about Trudeau’s location “continue to circulate on social media,” the report said.
A separate series of reports that RCMP intelligence analysts prepared during the 2021 federal election campaign, detailing threats against Trudeau, has also been submitted to the committee. .
During the election, Trudeau was repeatedly followed by protesters decrying vaccine demands and hurling obscenities at him.
At one point, he threw gravel. In another, a planned rally in Bolton, Ont., was cancelled, with Trudeau citing the anger level of the crowd of protesters attending the event.
During the campaign, the RCMP said it had observed an increase in “hostile” behavior towards Trudeau, who was a prime target of the threats.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 21, 2022.