RCMP report condemns ‘dubious’ legacy media coverage of Freedom Convoy

‘Some Government of Canada partners would misrepresent the information or misattribute third-party information as RCMP information,’ reads the report, National After-Action Review into the RCMP’s response to the 2022 Freedom Convoy.

RCMP report condemns ‘dubious’ legacy media coverage of Freedom Convoy
The Canadian Press / Justin Tang
Remove Ads

RCMP respondents condemned the use of legacy media reports as part of their intelligence package in assessing and quashing the Freedom Convoy.

Published last week, the report, National After-Action Review into the RCMP’s response to the 2022 Freedom Convoy, raised concerns about their dubious quality.

“According to survey results, intelligence dissemination was not always timely or accessible,” the report reads. “Specifically, respondents noted that they would receive information about various threats through media reporting and various social media pages rather than directly from the RCMP,” it adds.

Media reports cited false narratives that the convoy disseminated antisemitic flyers at the protest, and were responsible for attempted arson in a downtown Ottawa apartment building.

Public Order Emergency Commissioner (POEC) Paul Rouleau criticized media ‘misinformation’ in his final report on the Freedom Convoy.

“I am also satisfied that there was misinformation about the Freedom Convoy, which was used as a basis to unfairly discredit all protesters,” wrote Rouleau. “Where there was misinformation and disinformation about the protests, it was prone to amplification in [the] news media,” he said.

On February 14, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau permitted the warrantless seizure of bank accounts and assets of convoy supporters, amid a weeks-long, trucker-led protest against COVID mandates.

His cabinet did not seek legal advice from Crown prosecutors on invoking the Emergencies Act until after the fact.

At the time, Trudeau claimed their “lawful protests embraced lawlessness,” citing several border blockades and the Ottawa protest. He decried their alleged risk of “ideologically motivated extremism,” and said it posed a "volatile, out of control" threat to Canadians.

The prime minister walked back the divisive rhetoric a few days later, stating he should have worded it differently. 

He admitted that most protestors participated because they were “hurting” from punitive COVID measures, as reiterated by Rouleau, months later.

Canadians learned during the Commission that department staff sought to discredit protesters as ‘violent,’ even without concrete evidence. 

“Some of their more extreme comments, i.e. calling for a January 6 style insurrection, are getting more coverage in the media,” wrote staff in a January 24, 2022 text. “There could be an opportunity to get in on this growing narrative of the truckers.”

“There's a danger that if we come down too hard, they might push out the crazies,” wrote an aide. “That's fair,” replied another.

The substack Public earlier reported that intelligence agencies fabricated information to indict supporters of the Freedom Convoy, and not recognize their right to legitimate protest. 

Government-approved media falsely accused the convoy of being 'far-right,’ after Trudeau accused Conservative MPs of supporting a “fringe group” with “unacceptable” views, Public revealed.

Convoy organizer Tamara Lich spent 49 days in prison on one count of mischief.

“This scandal appears to add to a growing number of cases revealing the politicization of intelligence and security agencies across Five Eyes nations to achieve ideological, political, and counter-populist goals,” said Public.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland earlier asked government bureaucrats to find evidence linking the convoy to acts of terrorism. 

They found “no evidence” as no entities on the national terrorism watch list took part in the demonstration.

A January 26, 2022 document corroborated internal communications between Canada’s financial intelligence unit, the RCMP, Public Safety Canada, and the Department of Finance, describing the convoy’s multi-million dollar fundraising efforts as “unlikely” to fund terrorism. 

“All ideologically motivated violent extremist attacks in Canada have been low cost and low in sophistication,” wrote intelligence managers.

According to figures obtained through an access-to-information request by Blacklock’s Reporter, an estimated $7.8 million in holdings belonging to convoy supporters had been seized involving 267 bank accounts and 170 bitcoin wallets in 2022.

A reporter asked on February 17 whether freezing bank accounts was appropriate for the government.

Minister Freeland claimed the financial measures were “a powerful tool to disincentivize protest … and shrink the size of the [convoy].”

She cited their “overriding objective” to protect Canadians and admitted that her government has lessons to learn.

RCMP officers said invoking the Emergencies Act left them uncomfortable, amid incredible pressure from the federal government to quash lawful protests.

Respondents at the Ottawa convoy claimed providing hourly intelligence updates for ministers harmed their ability to police the protest, accusing government officials of politicizing the situation.

“Interviewees also indicated that there were issues with information and intelligence that was disseminated to external Government of Canada agencies,” reads National After-Action Review. “Specifically, some Government of Canada partners would misrepresent the information or misattribute third-party information as RCMP information,” it adds.  

The Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery called the demonstration 'unsafe' in a February 1, 2022 letter. It provided no evidence to substantiate the claims, reported Blacklock's Reporter.

"Protesters of the truck convoy have harassed some of our members in the last few days, and we cannot afford to be left exposed without protection for hours outside the building," wrote Catherine Levesque of the National Post, then-Press Gallery president.

On February 25, 2022, then public safety minister Marco Mendicino told MPs he advised reporters to "be very careful" in dealing with convoy participants. It ultimately furthered the government's 'disinformation' campaign against protestors.

No convoy participant ever faced charges for misconduct against reporters.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads