Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland demanded bureaucrats find evidence of terrorism in Freedom Convoy during the early 2022 protest.
Senior bureaucrats admitted in internal communications there was "no evidence" that entities on the national terrorism watch list were behind the large-scale anti-restriction demonstration in the nation's capital.
A senior staffer with Public Safety Canada acknowledged they were aware members of the government were "playing fast and loose around what is going on and the tool box we have at our disposal to cope with ongoing 'event.'"
The witch hunt for domestic anarchists during the trucker-led anti-mandate demonstration that settled into Ottawa for nearly four weeks in late January and early February 2022 was revealed in communications documents provided to the Public Order Emergency Commission by the Finance Minister's office.
According to communications between FINTRAC staff, the RCMP and Public Safety Canada, Chrystia Freeland's office (FIN MINO) had contacted Trudeau's National Security and Intelligence Advisor (NSIA), Jody Thomas for excuses to seize bank accounts of convoy participants and supporters.
"Apologies for a late evening email, but Fin MINO reached in to NSIA, who reached over to my DM (deputy minster) regarding the following question:
"Exploring all avenues to address the convoy in terms of financial restrictions and wondering
whether there is any information or indication of listed entities in Canada or abroad engaged in
the financing of the convoys?"
My response to my DM was: we ask this question every day at ADM NS ops calls, and so far
answer has been there is "no evidence" to suggest listed entities are directly financing protests.
But figured I'd check in with all of you to double check whether you have seen or heard
anything, and what we might say if we're directly asked this question ... conscious of the fact
that a lot of senior officials are playing fast and loose around what is going on and the tool box
we have at our disposal to cope with ongoing "event". So want to make sure we remain stitched
up and we are clear on facts.
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is Canada's financial intelligence unit which works to uncover terrorism financing and money laundering.
The Public Order Emergency Commission was tasked with determining the validity of the Liberal government's use of a never-before-used counter-terrorism law to seize bank accounts and assets and arrest convoy participants to bring an end to the Freedom Convoy.