President Biden ordered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to dismantle the Canadian Freedom Convoy over fears that the nationwide protests against vaccine mandates would start impacting trade in the United States, documents show.
Biden’s request was made moments before Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, which the Prime Minister defended the controversial decision while testifying in Ottawa Superior Court on Friday.
Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland emailed staff on February 10, stating that the White House was “very worried” that their “northeastern car plants will shut down” if Trudeau didn’t stop the convoy within 12 hours, according to Daily Mail.
Brian Deese, Biden’s top economic advisor, told Freeland that if the blockades were not dismantled at the border, the United States would reportedly lose $2.9 billion in trade.
Shortly after the conversation, Deese and Brian Clow, Trudeau’s chief of staff, arranged a meeting with President Biden and the prime minister where the Biden administration presented Trudeau with a plan to end the convoy, POLITICO reports.
Biden and Trudeau allegedly discussed that the border blockades were a “shared problem” and were being influenced by “money, political support, and the media” with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson providing daily coverage of the protests, according to a text exchange between Freeland and Clow.
On February 13, Freeland met with Alan Kestenbaum, the CEO of Stelco, one of the largest steel companies in Canada, and informed the minister that the blockades were significantly impacting their business.
“I fear that even worse, the long-term consequences of shutting down auto plants because of lack of Canadian parts, will only convince the auto companies to 'on shore' even more and relocate supplies (and our customers) to the USA,” Kestenbaum said, according to Freeland.
Freeland told Kestenbaum that Canada was “determined to bring this to an end quickly” and the following day on February 14 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to end the protests.
The law froze protesters' bank accounts, banned travel to protests, seized truckers’ vehicles, and placed the provinces under martial law.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association slammed Trudeau’s decision as unconstitutional and said that the government failed to meet the standard for invoking the Emergencies Act, which is intended to deal with threats to “sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,” the Daily Mail reports.