Brian Gover

Brian Gover spoke 62 times across 2 days of testimony.

  1. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Perhaps -- it’s Brian Gover for the Government of Canada. Perhaps the witness could complete her answer to the question without interruption?


  2. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Commissioner, it’s Brian Gover on behalf of the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada maintains the objection that you heard yesterday from Government counsel then about solicitor/client privilege pertaining to the information provided by Attorney General Minister of Justice Lametti.


  3. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    It’s Brian Gover. You may not, consistent with maintaining the objection, inquire into the content of any advice given by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.


  4. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    My friend may inquire as to whether an opinion was expressed. The fact of the opinion. Not the content.


  5. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you, Commissioner. And my name is Brian Gover. I’m one of the lawyers for the Government of Canada. And good evening Ms. Telford, Mr. Clow, and Mr. Brodhead. By my count, Commissioner, I believe I have 20 minutes with the kind donation from the City of Windsor. I hope to be substantially less than that.


  6. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Let’s see how we do. First of all, the Order in Council sets out terms of reference directing the Commissioner to examine the -- to the extent relevant, the impact, role, and sources of misinformation and disinformation including the use of social media. And by misinformation we understand that to mean unknowingly or unintentionally spreading false inaccurate or misleading information. And we understand disinformation to be deliberately and intentionally spreading false, inaccurate or misleading information. Ms. Telford, at any point during the convoy occupations and blockades did you become aware of any misinformation or disinformation that was affecting the situation?


  7. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And I understand, Commissioner, that the fake letter that has been alluded to by Ms. Telford can be found at PB.CAN.00001821. And the false flag regarding Ms. Telford and the horse is in evidence as PB.CAN.0001822. Ms. Telford, how was misinformation and disinformation conveyed or distributed in the course of the weeks that we’re concerned with here?


  8. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Moving to my second area, Mr. Clow, you’ve testified in response to a question from Commission counsel about communications with Juan Gonzalez whom you described as a member of President Biden’s national security team on February 9th. And Commissioner, we have in evidence -- and I won’t take the witness to it -- the text message at SSM.CAN.00007744. And Mr. Clow, in addition to the text exchange, did you have a telephone call with Mr. Gonzalez that you recall?


  9. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And when was that in relation to February 9th?


  10. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you. The third area relates to federal provincial territorial consultations and the First Ministers meeting. And we have the read-out at SSM.NSC.CAN00000625. And perhaps I’ll ask our registrar to display that, please. And perhaps I’ll ask if we could go to the second page. And you'll recall that my friend for the Province of Alberta said that Premier Kenney was clear that the Emergencies Act was not required in Alberta, and referred to the situation in Coutts having been addressed. Can anyone on the panel assist me with this question; do you know where the additional RCMP resources came from to address the situation in Coutts, which we’ve heard was the subject of a police operation in the early morning hours of February 14th. Mr. Brodhead?


  11. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And in fact, at the second page we have Premier Horgan from British Columbia indicating that his: “...only concern is that [the] measures would be implemented by RCMP in BC which are already fully taxed. Not sure where [you’re] going to find the people. We’ve already sent an RCMP contingent East.” Is that what you’re referring to in that respect, sir?


  12. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And, Mr. Clow, in the course of your evidence already you’ve referred to this phenomenon of stretching police resources; is that correct?


  13. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And this was in the context, this conversation, of declaring a Public Order Emergency, which itself involves a national emergency, is that right?


  14. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Now, you were taken, by the way, to page 3 and what Premier Kenney said. And if my friend from Alberta said this, I didn’t hear it, but she referred to, if we look down page 3: “Would be problematic to declare emergency today...” And referred to what we see following the next point, starting with: “Invoking what they will see as martial law....” What we didn’t hear was what’s in between two sentences: “Folks at the core of this movement are not rational. They are prone to conspiracy theories.” Have I read that correctly?


  15. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And was that, to the best of your recollection, a feature of what Premier Kenney said during the First Ministers’ Meeting?


  16. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And Mr. Brodhead, to elaborate, if you would, when you refer to Premier Kenney’s previous roles with the federal government, to what are you referring?


  17. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Right. And we’re moving right along to the fourth area. Could we take that down, Mr. Registrar, and could we go to, and display, SSM.CAN.00007721? And I come to this panel because I believe this was alluded to by my friend Mr. Miller on behalf of the convoy organizers, and I really seek your assistance in interpreting what I understand to be a note written by Alex Jeglic. First of all, I probably mispronounced his name, but did you know who that is?


  18. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    So a member of the PMO?


  19. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And if we look at this, maybe we could scroll down just a couple of lines? Perfect, thank you. And we see something attributed to someone named Rheal; do you see that, Mr. Clow?


  20. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And this says: “Confident we’ll win those votes. Need to do more in Senate to win that vote.” Have I read that correctly?


  21. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And how does that accord with your recollection of the discussion surrounding the pending Senate vote around the time when revocation of the declaration ---


  22. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    If I may continue, Commissioner?


  23. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    What I’m endeavouring to do is to ask for the panel’s interpretation of this so that we clarify these areas.


  24. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you.


  25. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you very much. And this continues, and this is the part that I believe Mr. Miller had referred to in his cross-examination earlier, or his commentary earlier: “NES spoke with NSIA + Jody Thomas” And then there’s an arrow: “S.2 of CSIS Act: Violence not met” New arrow: “Wonder if need full 30 days if Ottawa cleared [then] speech Monday morning.” Are you able to help us, Mr. Clow, understand the context of this? First of all, what does NES stand for?


  26. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Who is that individual Caucus member?


  27. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And whose view did you understand to be that section 2 of the CSIS Act had not been met?


  28. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    All right. Well, we’ve done our best to interpret that, and thank you for that.


  29. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you. The second-to-last area has to do with the process that the three of you observed surrounding the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. And how would you describe the process surrounding the invocation of the Emergencies Act; the evolution of the thinking of the Government of Canada on that issue. Perhaps I’ll ask you first, Ms. Telford.


  30. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you. Mr. Clow, same question for you; your description of the process.


  31. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you. And Mr. Brodhead?


  32. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And finally, our last question, and it’s to you, Ms. Telford, if anyone were to suggest that the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act was politically motivated, what would you say to that?


  33. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you very much. Those are my questions.


  34. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Mr. Commissioner, Brian Gover for the Government of Canada. And if my friend is going to put that to the witness, he ought to put the proposition correctly. I remind my friend that the evidence of Commissioner Carrique of the Ontario Provincial Police was that the powers under the emergency measures regulation in relation to tow trucks were used. I refer specifically to his February 22nd, 2022 report to Deputy Solicitor General Di Tommaso, which shows that clearly those powers were used. Thank you.


  35. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    I object to that. On behalf of the Government of Canada, it's Brian Gover once again. This is putting the Prime Minister in an odious position. We had no notice that they would attempt this in cross-examination. These things require careful consideration, do not lend themselves to decisions in the moment, and we maintain our objection.


  36. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Mr. Commissioner, it's Brian Gover once again for the Government of Canada. Solicitor/client privilege of course is a very substantial right in our legal system. It's one that the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized as a constitutional dimension. I remind my friends that in this case, as the Prime Minister has said, Cabinet confidence has been waived for the fourth time in 155 years to provide evidence of inputs. We know that the decision note that was referred to in testimony by the Clerk of the Privy Council, referred to the advice of the Public Service that it was appropriate to invoke the Emergencies Act. In my submission, we need not go further with the inquiry and pierce the veil of solicitor/client privilege, setting what, in my submission, could be a dangerous precedent going forward and one -- this is certainly an issue that requires careful consideration and not one to require a Prime Minister to respond to in the spur of the moment. Thank you.


  37. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    If I could interrupt, Commissioner? It’s Brian Gover on behalf of the Government of Canada. The agreement was to move the protesters to Wellington. My friend is misstating the evidence, in my submission.


  38. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Mr. Commissioner, I object again, because characterizing this as a de-escalation agreement, in my submission, is a misnomer. This was a -- an agreement that didn’t hold, but it was to move vehicles from residential areas to Wellington Street.


  39. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    That's a very unfair ---


  40. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you, Commissioner. And Prime Minister, I’m Brian Gover. I’m appearing for the Government of Canada today. I have four areas to ask you about, Prime Minister. And the first one will involve asking our Registrar, please, to display SSM.NSC.CAN.00000216. And if I got the number right, Prime Minister, this is in relation to the Cabinet meeting, which was held on the evening of Sunday, February 13th, 2022, beginning at 8:30 p.m. And of course, you’ve been asked questions about that meeting in the course of your testimony today. My question relates to the CSIS assessment that was provided at that Cabinet meeting. And if we could please go to the second last page? And Prime Minister, it appears from this that the CSIS assessment was in relation to possible implications of the invocation of the Emergencies Act across the ideologically motivated violence extremism, or IMVE space in Canada, with a particular focus on the Freedom Convoy 2022 and CSIS’ subjects of investigation. Is that correct, sir?


  41. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    To be clear, the assessment that you received on that occasion, to clarify, was not in relation to section 2(c) of the CSIS Act? Was that right?


  42. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Yes, I can. I can. So the assessment you received, and we have it here on this page, and a little bit more, appears to deal with the question of the, essentially the impacts of invoking the Emergencies Act, and in particular, as it relates to what we’ve come to call IMVE, with a particular focus on the Freedom Convoy 2022 and subjects of investigation by CSIS?


  43. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    I will be careful. My purpose was only to clarify something that may have been obfuscated somewhat earlier. So we had -- thank you very much. We can take that down, Mr. Registrar. Prime Minister, describing what was brought to your attention on February 13th by Commissioner Lucki about the plan for Ottawa, and this at the IRG meeting earlier that day, you told Commission Counsel, as I’ve noted it, it wasn’t a plan, not a fully final plan. And first of all, have I noted your evidence correctly?


  44. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And what I’m going to do, Prime Minister, in the course of the next few questions, is take you through what we now know to be the case, and ask you how it accords with your recollection of what you knew then on February 13th. And in that respect, could we go to WTS00000, so that’s, as I have it, five zeros, 30. This is the Witness Summary of Supt. Bernier. And we’ve heard, Prime Minister, that Supt. Bernier was the Incident Commander in relation to the operation that ultimately cleared downtown Ottawa. And if we could go, please, to page 18, initially? And the first sentence of the first paragraph? And here we have: “On February 13[th], the Integrated Planning Team prepared a plan for Superintendent Bernier [en]titled ‘Integrated Mobilization Operational Plan’ [it’s referred to as] (the February 13 Plan).” And then we have footnote 16 referred to. And if we could go to that at the bottom of the page, please? This we have as OPP00001851. This is what you were taken to earlier by ---


  45. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Yes. And I was taken -- you were taken to that by counsel for the Ottawa Police Service. Now, if we could ---


  46. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    No, that was the long one.


  47. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you. Thank you, Commissioner. And then if we could go to page 13 of that document? This is the one cited in the footnote. And in particular, if we could look at the list of contingency plans that were to be included in Appendix H? If you could scroll down a little bit here? And maybe stop there if you would. “The following Plans will be provided by the respective Specialized Units: POU [which we know now to be Public Order Unit] deployment […] Traffic Plans” I’m just reading some of them: “Hostile Vehicle Mitigation” And importantly: “Obstruction Removal - [at the bottom] vehicle and persons” And if we could please go to Appendix H at page 62? This is the proposed contingency plans. And if we scroll down, we see “TO OBTAIN FROM SPECIALIZED UNITS” is all we have there. My friend from the Ottawa Police Service didn’t show you that, Prime Minister. And then if we could please go back to Supt. Bernier’s Witness Summary, which was WTS00000, so five zeros, 30? Paragraph 18. We’ll pick up with the words: “He noted that the February 13 Plan…” We have it halfway down the first full paragraph. We see here: “He noted that the February 13 Plan was not the overall operational plan and did not contain a plan to end the occupation of Ottawa. The overall operational plan was still being prepared.” And then -- and there will be a question for you, Prime Minister, momentarily. If we could please go on to page 20, the bottom of the page? "On February 17, Superintendent Bernier, Inspector Springer, and Superintendent Lue approved the overall operational plan, which was titled 'Integrated Phased Approach' (the February 17 Plan)." And this refers to its development after Superintendent Bernier briefed others. And the Operational Plan approved that day, which was the Thursday of the week the Emergencies Act was implemented, refers to supporting plans such as tactical public order, towing et cetera. Could we please now go to OPS000013798, which ---


  48. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Commissioner, I have prefaced this by indicating that I would take the Prime Minister to certain elements of the evidence and then ask him how that accorded with what he was told on February 13 about a plan. And that's my intention to do that very shortly. I have to just finish this one point.


  49. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    I will, thank you.


  50. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    It's explaining to the Prime Minister what the evidence has been at this Inquiry, actually despite aspects of the cross-examination. So Prime Minister, the plan developed on February 17th actually referred to the Emergencies Act and the powers under it, but my question, to come back to it, is, Prime Minister, how does the evidence to which I have just referred you, which has been heard in the course of this Inquiry, compare with your understanding and recollection of what Commissioner Lucki told you about the plan for Ottawa at the IRG meeting on Sunday, February 13th?


  51. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you. Prime Minister, the third of the four areas to which I am taking you has to do with two forms of consultation under the Emergencies Act that you've described in your evidence, and we're going to be aided by going to the Emergencies Act itself, and in particular, it's at CCF000000, could be six zeros, 47. If we could display that, please, Mr. Registrar. And you've referred to two provisions in the course of your testimony on this point already, Prime Minister. I'm going to ask that we turn initially to section 4. I think we might have... Section 14, please. And this provides that: "Subject to subsection (2), before the Governor in Council issues, continues or amends a declaration of a public welfare emergency, the lieutenant governor in council of each province in which the direct effects of the emergency occur shall be consulted with respect to the proposed action." This continues with a indication in subsection (2): "...where the direct effects of the emergency are confined to, or occur principally in, one province..." "The Governor in Council may not...[declare] a public welfare emergency...unless the lieutenant governor in council of the province has indicated to the [lieutenant] Governor...that the emergency exceeds the capacity or authority of the province to deal with it." And Prime Minister, the consultation that you've described in 2020, was that conducted under this provision or another provision?


  52. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And in the case of a Public Order Emergency, consultation occurs under section 25, which I'll ask to be turned up. And you referred to a provision, which allows for a consultation to happen after declaration of a Public Order Emergency. And I note the words in subsection (2): "...without unduly jeopardizing the effectiveness of the proposed action..." And Prime Minister, in relation to a Public Order Emergency, was this the provision you had in mind?


  53. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And ---


  54. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Pardon me, I didn't mean to interrupt, Prime Minister. And just before we leave this area, I'll ask that the registrar please turn up SSM.NSC.CAN00000625. And this has been pretty well canvassed already, Prime Minister. These are the minutes or the readout of the First Ministers conference call on February 14th, 2022. We understand that this call began somewhere around 10:15 a.m. And first of all, Prime Minister, you told Commission Counsel this call lasted approximately an hour. Is that right?


  55. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Was any time limit imposed on the consultation that took place during that call?


  56. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Did any of the premiers seem surprised about the topic of conversation?


  57. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Did any of them seem ill prepared to deal with the topic for discussion?


  58. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Did any of them ask that the balance of the conversation take place at another time, that it be deferred to later that day or later in the week?


  59. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And if we could just please turn to what will be the -- don't know if they're paginated. This will be where Premier Ford speaks, and it will be -- count the pages, should be the sixth page, please, Mr. Registrar. Yeah. If you could go down to the next page, thank you. And in particular, if I could take you, Prime Minister, to the statement, and it's the third last bullet point, "Province does not have tow trucks. That will change in the future. Will ensure that OPP have tow trucks. Embarrassing that we can't get use of tow trucks." (As read) So is it fair to say that that was an issue on the morning of February 14th in the First Minister's call?


  60. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    And I note as well that on this subject of tools that you've referred to repeatedly in the course of your testimony, Prime Minister, Premier Ford concluded by saying, "Have to give tools to the police that are needed, support the PM 100 percent." (As read) Is that right, sir?


  61. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Now, Prime Minister, my last area and indeed my last question is this, what do you say, sir, to the suggestion that the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act on February 14th of this year was politically motivated?


  62. Brian Gover, Counsel (GC)

    Thank you very much, Prime Minister. And thank you, Commissioner, those are my questions.