My favourite lawyer at the trucker commission gets something wrong — and we want to get it right

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I’m finding this trucker commission of inquiry useful. We’re learning things we never knew before, and that we could never know without the power of this commission — the power to subpoena people and documents.

In Parliament, we have question period — but it isn’t called answer period for a reason. At the commission though, politicians have to attend, swear to tell the truth and are pressed to answer. They’re not always doing so — some of them are clearly lying, although the police witnesses were pretty good.

And as we showed you yesterday, we get access to records that are normally kept secret from us, that are exempt from access to information requests. Cabinet memos and private text messages between cabinet ministers.

Even when two cabinet ministers casually talked about sending a military tank out to meet the trucker convoy. Seriously, what a couple of fascists. I think this inquiry is good and I think the evidence is overwhelming that Trudeau had no legal basis for invoking martial law.

And really, his shills don’t even really claim with any enthusiasm that he did. They talk about political reasons and journalist reasons and how they were being made to look like fools on the world stage. But I don’t think anyone is really even pretending that the legal test for invoking martial law was met. I’m sure Trudeau, the prince of lies, will take that on himself.

But I don’t think it will work, actually. So I like this commission and I really didn’t think I would. Commission lawyers are doing a fair enough job, especially given their very tight time constraints. That’s something Trudeau has been using against them — he just refuses to release un-redacted documents, because he knows this commission has an expiry date. Unlike in normal court cases, things can’t be delayed while a judge orders someone to hand over better records — or the other move — dumping tens of thousands of pages on the other side without time to review them. So it’s unfair, but it’s fair enough.

But — and I’ve said this several times — the real stars of the commission are the freedom-oriented lawyers. The Democracy Fund’s head of litigation, Alan Honner, has official intervenor status at the commission. He is given private, confidential briefings; he is allowed to cross-examine witnesses, including cabinet ministers. He’s doing a great job. But my biggest kudos go to the team of lawyers associated with the JCCF — I think there are six or seven of them altogether.

I know Keith Wilson — we’ve talked to him a lot before. But there are a lot of new faces I didn’t know before, from Rob Kittredge who we spoke with the other day, to Eva Chipiuk who has been working with Tamara Lich. I think there are literally seven lawyers affiliated with the truckers and the JCCF, and they’ve been the stars of the commission, really giving it teeth where I’m not so sure other lawyers would have done.

And my favourite has been Brendan Miller — he’s the toughest, the best-informed, the most tenacious in the group. I only heard of him from this — not from before — I met him very briefly on the first day of the commission. And he’s been the MVP. Good facts, good arguments, good questions. I think he’s been running a little bit hot lately — he lost his cool a bit when the judge wouldn’t give him a speedy ruling on some of Trudeau’s blacked-out documents. And the judge booted him out for it.

Miller didn’t like that one bit, obviously. But look — it’s the judge’s courtroom. He’s trying to balance a lot of things, a lot of lawyers — his own, each of the witnesses. Give the guy some leeway. And there can only be one boss, and it is the judge, for better or worse. Having security escort Miller out was too much, he could have just ordered him to sit down. But I take all that as a sign that tempers are just a bit frayed after a month of this.

Remember, for every hour the commission sits, there’s an hour of preparation and follow-up. I bet everyone involved in this is working 18 hours a day. I’m not surprised a lawyer fainted the other day.

A few days ago Miller had a bombshell. He telegraphed that to us that he had a doozy but he wasn’t able to tell it to us in advance. All the lawyers who have some standing with the commission have to follow certain rules of confidentiality. They are given early access to documents to review and prepare, but in return, they must keep them confidential until they’re released publicly through the commission. So we didn’t know what this bombshell would be.

It was about one of the worst smears against the truckers that happened during the convoy. As we know, the truckers were multi-racial, from English-speaking Canada and from Quebec, people from all walks of life: Peaceful, fun, patriotic. Bouncy castles and hot tubs.

Trudeau wanted to demonize them as Nazis, but they just weren’t. Ralph Goodale, the Liberal hack, called them neo-Nazis. No basis, other than his own bigotry.

The Liberals knew it wasn’t true, but they knew they had to gin up that theory, because they wanted to demonize their peaceful opponents. They wanted them to be Nazis, they needed them to be Nazis. They weren’t — so they did what they always do, send in false flags.

Who was it! Who were the Nazis? This looks like it was taken at the Chateau Laurier, the most prestigious and expensive hotel in the city. Were neo-Nazis taken there? No-one else saw the photo. I wonder where it came from. I do know that the Chateau Laurier was where the RCMP were staying. They boasted about it in their WhatsApp groups, how they were feasting like kings on the taxpayer dime. I wonder if some undercover cops were the “Nazis”. Wouldn’t surprise me and it wouldn’t be the first time.

I mean, the supply of Nazis in Canada does not meet the demand for Nazis. Trudeau’s entire team wanted to demonize the truckers as Nazis. Everyone saw through it. But who was the man who held a Nazi Flag? How could CSIS not know? Well, I bet they did know. Like the FBI knew all about Ray Epps in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6th. Yeah. Look we don’t know who it was. But Brendan Miller said he did.

He said it was a man named Brian Fox, who is a senior executive for a public relations firm called Enterprise Canada. Well, that was stunning. Enterprise Canada is a political firm; maybe it was a false flag operation conducted by a group of political dirty tricksters! At least we knew who it was who was smearing the truckers! Brendan Miller raised the subject at the commission. He named Brian Fox of Enterprise Canada. Got 'em! Got the dirty trickster!

And not just that, but Brendan Miller wanted to subpoena him and get him under oath to ask him all about it. Great idea — because remember, this whole Emergencies Act thing was because the Liberals claims it was violent extremists coming to overthrow the government. Imagine if they had arranged somehow to plant the Nazi protester, and you caught that guy, and he revealed the whole conspiracy.

Now, Brendan Miller had trouble going further — the judge wouldn’t let him. Miller wanted to subpoena Brian Fox. And he had a witness — a live witness who saw him that day!

Shawn Folkes! He had an affidavit swearing it was true, from Shawn Folkes, and frankly he wanted to call Shawn Folkes as a witness too! Well, my God I thought that was an exciting story. Bombshell indeed. And Brendan Miller had so many bombshells this past month, he really did have the goods on so many politicians and bureaucrats and politicized cops.

So if Miller says he’s got the proof, and he’s willing to say it in this judicial forum, you better believe that I’m paying attention — and every Rebel News viewer ought to! So we ran the story, big-time. But you know our practice — we like to reach out to the other side just to make sure they have their say, too. But really — what’s left to ask? Eye witness, sworn affidavit, Miller has been right every time. But Enterprise Canada was faster than us — they immediately put up a public statement.

“Today, in the scope of the Emergencies Act Inquiry, Brendan Miller, the lawyer representing “Freedom Corp” made an entirely unsubstantiated and deeply offensive accusation against Enterprise Canada principal Brian Fox. For the record, there is no truth to this absurd and despicable accusation. Neither Brian Fox, nor anyone from Enterprise Canada was in attendance at the “Freedom Convoy” protests in any capacity. Mr. Fox was in Toronto for the duration of these protests and had no involvement in them.”

That’s pretty categorical. Someone has their facts wrong. Either Brian Fox or Brendan Miller and his eye witness. Fox’s company added some more detail later:

“Brian Fox has not been in Ottawa since 2019. Brian Fox has not been involved with the Liberal Party of Canada or ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests in any way.”

In fact, I’m told he’s a Pierre Poilievre supporter who was last in Ottawa for the Manning Centre conference three years ago. But really — a senior executive at a national communications firm would dress up as a Nazi to do a false flag at a trucker convoy? Sounds implausible. That’s the kind of thing that a young college kid might be set up to do by a dirty trickster — but a businessman in his fifties?

Well, Miller was adamant. OK, I’ll bite. Who is the witness? What does his affidavit say? Well, let’s take a look at it.

“I approached the person who was carrying the Nazi Flag on January 29, 2022, and I attempted to speak with him. On November 21, 2022, I went onto the website for Enterprise Canada and found Brian Fox’s profile thereon including a photo of him. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit “B” is a true copy of a screenshot of the profile of Brian Fox from the Enterprise Canada website. I can confirm that Brian Fox is the man I met with the Nazi Flag on January 29, 2022.”

Shawn Folkes said he spoke with the Nazi flag guy in January. Didn’t take notes, didn’t take photos. Just saw him in January. And then in November — just a few days ago — he looks at the Enterprise Canada website, sees the photo of Brian Fox and says that’s him. Ten months later.

You talk with someone. No notes, no photos, no video. And ten months later, you look at a website photo (and who knows how old it might be) and you say, that’s him, absolutely. You’re not an expert at these things, you’re not trained in these things. But you’re sure of it. Even though the Nazi guy was wearing a mask? How sure?

Who is Shawn Folkes? His affidavit describes him as a political activist. Pages and pages of how he fights political battles. And it has a bit of attention-seeking in it in other ways, too — he talks about his father inventing the musical genre called reggae; he talks about his accomplished family. Not sure what that has to do with Brian Fox, but it paints a bit of a picture about Shawn Folkes — as in, is he really a disinterested witness truly coming forward with the facts? Or is he someone who wants to be part of the excitement, wants to be internet famous, wants to be in the fight?

But here’s a surprise. Shawn Folkes actually did make a video record of what he saw back when it happened — or right afterwards. I wonder if he forgot that he did. He talked to an independent citizen journalist who was live-streaming from down at the convoy.

Seems like a nice guy — I bet he’s a Rebel viewer. He mentioned that reggae thing and you know, he got some things right. He pointed out military snipers in Ottawa. That was true. And he talked about drones overhead. That was true, also — police drones, and the Canadian Armed Forces drone, too. He sounded a bit wild saying it then, but we now know it was 100% true.

I like this guy and he’s living proof that this was a diverse group of Canadians — Shawn Folkes himself was certainly no Nazi!

So the Nazi thing was apparently ironic? As in, a warning of what Trudeau was going to do to Canada? What an absurd thing — that sounds like a lie. A lie told by the Nazi guy — I’m sure he did say it to Shawn Folkes.

Imagine showing up with a mask and a Nazi flag, and claiming you’re just being ironic, and you’re accusing Trudeau of doing that.

Obviously, it was a false flag. But did you hear the key part — the Nazi flag guy spoke in a European accent — by which I’m sure Folkes meant Eastern European. And claimed to be talking about fascism from experience.

OK, maybe. But whatever the substance of the Nazi flag guy’s comments, he spoke with an accent. But Brian Fox was born in Windsor. Doesn’t have an accent at all. I’m not saying Shawn Folkes lied in his affidavit. I’m saying it’s much more likely that he forgot, ten months later, about that detail.

Or more to the point: he has never met Brian Fox, and simply didn’t know that he doesn’t speak with an accent. But he never even saw the face of the Nazi guy; and he only saw a corporate photo of Brian Fox. Imagine trying to compare those two, ten months apart, with great certainty.

What a joke. If he really did meet Brian Fox in person, he’d have heard the Canadian accent and known it wasn’t him. Did you ever make a mistake? That’s how we learn. Shawn Folkes made a mistake. But Brendan Miller made a mistake, too. I hate saying that, because Brendan Miller has been the MVP in these trucker commission proceedings.

He’s asked the best questions in the best ways. But this — this wasn’t the best. This was wobbly to begin with. Brian Fox immediately denied it was him; said he was in Toronto; said he hadn’t been to Ottawa in years; said he’s a pro-Conservative guy. And really — do you really think a senior business executive would do a prank like that, even if he was motivated by malice and was in town and had the opportunity?

And the proof — a foggy memory of a guy who briefly spoke with him ten months ago, then was shown a corporate PR photo of him? That’s your affidavit? And that’s the basis you’re calling a man a Nazi guy in public? We reported the accusation when it was made because it was news — because it was in the judicial inquiry, about matters in the public interest. It was just plain news. And we immediately published Brian Fox’s refutation of it.

But I won’t lie — even though a flat denial is pretty powerful, I was still tending to believe it. Miller has done just such a good job this past month and I couldn’t believe he would say something so powerful without some real evidence. We ran Brian Fox’s response because that’s the journalistic thing to do. But I still believed on the balance of probabilities that he was the guy. But I can’t say that now. Now that I’ve read the affidavit — the foggy memory of a guy ten months ago. Who said, on video in the moment, that the Nazi guy had a European accent? That’s it ... that’s all the evidence?

There’s a reason why police have a line-up of similar-looking suspects when an eye-witness is asked to identify them. Because it’s bloody important. More important than how it was treated by the commission.  It’s not enough and it’s not right. I know what it’s like to be called names unfairly — I’m Jewish, but because I’m conservative.

I’m occasionally called a Nazi — even by Trudeau’s corrupt henchmen, the disgraced lobbyist Gerald Butts. Now, I can brush it off more easily than most — it really is absurd to call a Jew like me a Nazi. But Brian Fox? I can only imagine what it’s like to be tarred that way. He had nothing to do with this, he wasn’t even in the city. But some foggy memory guy says it’s him, so it’s him?

Part of Rebel News is championing the cause of freedom and that’s why we support the truckers. It's also why we support the trucker lawyers — including Brendan Miller and his great team. If you don’t know, Rebel News constantly promotes the JCCF and I always buy tickets to their fundraising dinners. Their boss, John Carpay, will be speaking at our big Rebel News Live conference in Calgary this weekend.

I love the JCCF and as you’ve heard me say all month, my favourite new lawyer there is Brendan Miller. But he got this one wrong. Maybe he just wanted it too much, so he didn’t look at countervailing facts. Maybe he just knew in his bones the government did this, and forced the facts to fit his theory. I don’t know but I can imagine he’s under stress and pressure and is sleep-deprived. We like the JCCF and Brendan Miller but we also have a duty to our viewers to tell the truth and a duty to our own conscience. Believe me, we wanted to find out the identity of the Nazi guy as much as Miller did — and when he made the accusation, we reported it with some gusto. But now, three days later, we can’t.

It’s just obviously not true. Miller raised the issue obliquely again today with Chrystia Freeland — he didn’t name Brian Fox, but he said the Nazi flag-waver was a government plant.

I do think he was a government plant, because if he were real, we’d know his name, address, phone number and bank account. Like we know of thousands of truckers and their supporters. The banks would have frozen his account and the media party would be doing biographies on his whole family. The fact that we don’t know who the Nazi Flag guy was tells me he was Canada’s Ray Epps, a government plant.

But it wasn’t Brian Fox. I think Brian Fox deserves from Brendan Miller a retraction, a correction and an apology. Not just for the sake of Brian Fox’s reputation — but for the sake of Brendan Miller’s reputation. Here are Rebel News, we work hard to get it right. But when you publish 20 stories a day under pressure, you’re not always going to get it right.

A few times a year we get it wrong and once in a while we have to apologize — eat some crow. It’s not tasty but it’s the right thing to do. And it’s also a message: if we apologize when we make errors, that’s a signal that you can trust what we do and say the rest of the time. Because we’ll admit it when we’re wrong. Saying sorry actually improves your reputation for accuracy, paradoxically.

We’ve been the top boosters for Brendan Miller and his team all month. And I’ve literally never met or heard of Brian Fox until three days ago but we owe it to our readers to correct the record. And to call upon our champion, Brendan Miller, to correct the record too. Brian Fox didn’t do these terrible things. And just as it was wrong for the truckers to be demonized for political purposes, it’s wrong for our side to do the same to Brian Fox, too.

GUEST: Alexa Lavoie

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