The Canadian Government used disinformation in the form of faked intelligence to frame the Freedom Convoy anti-vaccine-mandate protesters as violent extremists and justify invoking the Emergencies Act, an investigation by Public has found. Here’s an excerpt.
A months-long Public investigation reveals that the Canadian Government used disinformation to crack down on the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest, led by truckers demanding an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, in February 2022. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, then promoted this false information to other ‘Five Eyes’ English-speaking nations.
This discovery is significant because it contributes to a pattern of intelligence agencies from the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada, which have collaborated on surveillance since World War II, being caught abusing their powers to investigate and persecute the political enemies of elected officials.
In 2013, the National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. Government and other nations had violated legal protections against warrantless surveillance. Collaboration between Five Eyes nations also appears to have been used by the FBI in 2016 to create the pretext used for initiating the Russian collusion investigation, which U.S. Department of Justice special prosecutor John Durham denounced last year.
The story begins in 2022, when news media outlets claimed that the truckers’ Freedom Convoy protest was a racist, fascist or far-Right movement. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the convoy “a small fringe minority with unacceptable views” and accused Conservative Members of Parliament of supporting hate. “Conservative Party members can stand with people who wave swastikas. They can stand with people who wave the Confederate flag,” Trudeau said.
On February 14th 2022, Trudeau took the extraordinary measure of invoking the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada’s history. The Act gave the Government sweeping powers to arrest protesters, freeze their bank accounts, seize property and dismantle blockades, which is what Trudeau did.
Central to Trudeau’s invocation of the Act was the alleged threat of Right-wing extremism and violence, but new documents that podcaster Jeremy Mackenzie obtained through Canada’s freedom of information law show that this drastic measure was based on fabricated intelligence. What’s more, Canada appears to have shared this disinformation with other members of the Five Eyes alliance. Five Eyes includes Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
There are still many questions about why this happened. We have not received answers from key players involved. Trudeau’s Government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) told Public they would reply to our requests for comment but so far have not.
The New Zealand Police, with whom the Trudeau Government shared disinformation, told Public that it was “unable to comment on queries which seek to confirm whether or not specific individuals or organisations are or have been under police investigation for privacy reasons”.