Cindy Termorhuizen

Cindy Termorhuizen spoke 119 times across 1 day of testimony.

  1. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I wish to affirm.


  2. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Cynthia Termorshuizen. Do you want both names spelled?


  3. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    C-Y-N-T-H-I-A T-E-R- M-O-R-S-H-U-I-Z-E-N.


  4. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  5. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  6. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  7. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  8. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  9. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  10. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Sure. So in -- maybe just by way of context, Global Affairs Canada has four Deputy Ministers. There is a Deputy Minister of International Trade, of Foreign Affairs, and of International Development, and then there’s a four Deputy Minister, which is my role, which is the Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. And so in that role, I support the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the overall management of the department, but also in the management of foreign policy files that are delegated to me.


  11. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s correct. She retired. But she was at the time of the convoys.


  12. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  13. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s correct. So at the time where the convoys were starting, we actually had another crisis situation brewing, which was the imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. And so Deputy Minister Morgan made the decision that she would focus on Ukraine primarily and would delegate responsibility to me to handle the headquarters aspects of the convoy related issues. So my primary role at the time was to participate in the regular meetings of the DMOCC, the Deputy Ministers Operations Committee, that I think you’ve heard about earlier in these sessions. And then also, I engaged with a number of colleagues in the department, particularly our colleagues responsible for North America relations and then also colleagues in Protocol, which is a part of the department that is responsible for supporting foreign missions in Canada.


  14. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Absolutely. She also was very focused on Ukraine.


  15. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I would say it probably hit the radar when it did for a lot of average Canadians. We first started hearing about a convoy potentially coming to Ottawa in sort of late January. And so we were very much following the news, and that would be when we first were aware of it.


  16. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I think the initial response was like a response to maybe other protests that had happened in the past in Ottawa. I mean, Ottawa is the capital city, and so protests are not infrequent. And so I think my own early thoughts were, “I wonder what kind of road closures there will be? We might have to ask staff to redirect.” So initially it was, I think, that kind of response. And then of course, as the convoy actually came to Ottawa and settled in, there were other reactions.


  17. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yeah. So the daily DMOCCs didn’t start until I think it was around February the 10th. According to my recollection, the first DMOCC discussion that I attended where the convoy was a specific topic of conversation was January the 31st.


  18. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I think that’s when it started to be a topic of discussions interdepartmentally that I was a part of.


  19. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I'll take your word for it that it was a Monday.


  20. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I think initially the mandate was around wanting to ensure that we were living up to our obligations under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. So this is the International Legal Instrument under which we are responsible for ensuring the security of diplomatic missions in Canada. And so in the downtown core area, that was affected by the convoy initially, there were about 50 diplomatic properties. Most of them were embassies, a couple of them official residences, so those are the homes of ambassadors or high commissioners. And so the department, under that legal instrument, has a particular responsibility to ensure the safety and security of diplomatic missions and their staff, and to ensure that they're able to access their facilities unimpeded, that their consular clients are able to attend to those buildings. So that was the early area of focus for us, and this was primarily done at the working level in the early days. And then the second aspect of our mandate that really started to come into play a little bit later was with the blockades at various border crossings, and particularly, the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge became an enormous area of focus, just because it's such an important crossing, about 25 percent of our trade with the United States goes over the Ambassador Bridge. So that's when there started to be an enormous of amount of engagement, particularly with U.S. officials, but also concerns that we started to have about our reputation as an international trading country and as a country that was safe for investment, and that started to come up as we headed into sort of the 7th and 8th of February and thereafter.


  21. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Maybe I'll direct that to Joe Comartin ---


  22. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    --- who knows this better than I do.


  23. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So maybe I'll start, and Mr. Comartin might want to add. A couple of different things that I would point to. First, from a Canadian perspective, we were quite concerned because, of course, the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge was happening after two years of COVID, where we already seeing supply chains quite stressed. A lot of businesses were already under considerable strain. And so I think there was a lot of concern on the part of businesses that was exacerbated by that background. The second issue is that we have over many, many years had to fight very hard for access to American markets and also for the supply chains including with respect to the auto industry in Canada. There's a strong trend towards buy America in the United States and also a strong trend among some parts of the U.S. political class to bring manufacturing back to the United States. And so there's an ongoing effort by Global Affairs, by other federal departments, but also by provincial governments and our missions in the United States to continually make the case that Canada is a reliable trading partner and also reliable investment partner. And so that's very much the context behind this.


  24. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  25. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s right; we were also hearing that directly from the United States Embassy here in Ottawa and then also there were a number of conversations at the ministerial level between various departments where similar concerns were being conveyed.


  26. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think the public statements were very much an opportunity to send a message not only to the Canadian Government, but also I would suspect to their own public to make clear that they were working hard to do something about this situation. I mean the impact of the closure of the Ambassador Bridge was almost immediate, particularly in the auto sector which Mr. Comartin would know better than me, is a critical part of the Michigan economy, and of course of the Ontario economy as well.


  27. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    He's an employee at our embassy in Washington.


  28. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So maybe I'll start, and again, Mr. Comartin may need to add something. But there were a number of concerns, first of all, about American citizens funding through some of the crowdfunding platforms that were being used by the convoy, and in fact, there was information when one of these crowdfunding platforms was hacked, that a very large percentage of the funding was actually coming from U.S. sources. So that was something that I was aware of. And there was also concern about the Ottawa 9-1-1 number being flooded and many of the callers were actually from the United States, and this prevented Ottawa Emergency Services from appropriately doing their work. And I believe both of these issues were referenced in the call that took place between President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau around this time. And I think these were referred to as well in the readout of that call.


  29. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Sure. I mean, one of the things that we are always worried about is Canada's reputation abroad, and that’s for a number of reasons. From an economic perspective, we are a very trade and investment-dependent economy. Over 60 percent of the value of our GDP is made up of international trade in goods and services, so we're a particularly trade-dependent country. And so we need to maintain a strong and positive reputation as a place where people can safety trade and invest and do business. And part of that sort of positive trading and investment climate is a climate where the law is respected. And so clearly what we were seeing during this period was a very significant defiance of the law at both significant border crossings and in some of our large cities, including Ottawa. I think we were also really concerned from a broader reputational perspective that our flag was being used in some of these copycat protests that were happening around the world. The flag is a symbol of our country and it was being used, frankly, as a symbol of defiance of the law, and we were quite concerned about those reputational impacts.


  30. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I don't know what the exact source of these particular stats were. We do have a chief economist at Global Affairs Canada, and so our chief economist, in particular, one of the areas that she and her team monitor is our international trade performance. And so she will -- she and her team will regularly produce stats on those issues. So these may have come from our chief economist. I can't confirm that. We did not do, to my knowledge, at least, a detailed economic assessment of the specific impact. I believe other departments were doing that, including the Department of Finance and possibly the Department of Transport, but specific economic impact assessments weren’t being done, to my knowledge, by Global Affairs Canada.


  31. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s right. I mean, we would definitely, as a department, have information on the sort of average daily trade on the scale of the trading relationship with the United States, trade flows, that kind of thing.


  32. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Sure. One of the things that we were monitoring is the extent to which the convoy protests and economic blockades in Canada were being copied, if you will, in other countries. And I would say probably the largest copycat protest that we saw was in Wellington, sort of quite a similar phenomenon of large numbers of protestors entrenching themselves around the Parliamentary precinct in Wellington. We also saw other protests of smaller scale in the Hague, in Paris. There were some smaller ones, I think, in Rome, in Sweden. So we were monitoring these protests.


  33. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes. Mr. Goodale is Canada’s High Commissioner to London, England.


  34. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, I am.


  35. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So we had asked a number of our missions abroad -- so that’s our embassies, high commissions, and consulates general -- to report back if they saw these kind of protests emerging in other countries. So while I can’t say exactly what Mr. Goodale was thinking when he wrote this, my interpretation of this is that you know, a lot of people that he was talking with were surprised that in Canada you would see protests like this where there was widespread violation of the law and that this wasn’t the kind of protest that people would associate with Canada. And I think also, one of the things that we were talking about at the time was also the significant impact of disinformation on the climate here in Canada and abroad. So that was how I interpreted his message.


  36. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I talked about it a little bit earlier but, you know, from a Canadian government perspective, we always need to ensure that we remain a country that is seen as welcoming to foreign investment, to international trade. Those are really some of the foundations of our economic prosperity. And one of the foundations of being able to have that kind of trade and investment environment is to have the rule of law. And I think there were real concerns as Mr. Goodale is expressing here in his email that perhaps Canada was not able to respond effectively to some of the illegal actions that we were seeing in the protests. And then I think more broadly it’s not just about that trade and investment environment. It’s also the fact that, you know, Canada wants to protect its reputation more broadly as a country where there is rule of law alongside democracy.


  37. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  38. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I think the overwhelming focus was the United States. And you know, in part that’s because 75 percent of our trade is with the United States. So it’s overwhelmingly our largest trading partner. Also, the United States is overwhelmingly our largest investor. About 50 percent of all foreign investment in Canada is from the U.S., so it’s not surprising that the U.S. would dominate that conversation. That said, just to give an example, some of the key companies that were directly affected by the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge were actually not U.S. companies. They were Korean and Japanese companies. So both Toyota and Honda experienced immediate effects in Ontario as a result of the blockade and the inability to get parts. So while we didn’t hear directly from those countries, clearly those major foreign investors from other countries were directly affected and so we were concerned about the perceptions of other trading partners too in terms of their view of Canada as a safe place to do business.


  39. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Sure. So within Global Affairs we have an Office of Protocol that has a number of responsibilities. One of its responsibilities is to support both incoming and outgoing high level visits. So the Office of Protocol supports visits in and outgoing that are related to the Prime Minister or the Governor General and the Ministers of Global Affairs Canada. But it also has a specific responsibility with respect to the diplomatic corps in Canada. So there are about 8,000 diplomats accredited to Canada. They’re across the country but of course, given that Ottawa is the capital city, they are heavily concentrated in Ottawa and many of the embassies and consulates located across the country would engage with us. There’s a whole range of things that we take care of them. We take care of their accreditation. We provide advice, help with a lot of the documentation for them, and we have, as I mentioned earlier to you colleague, a very specific responsibility to the diplomatic presence here in Canada under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. And that governs all of our obligations under international law with respect to diplomats here in Canada.


  40. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s correct. So we have a mechanism whereby embassies or any diplomatic presence or diplomat can lodge formal complaints or concerns with the Office of Protocol. And we have on record a number of embassies based in Ottawa raising concerns about the impact of the convoy protest in Ottawa on their ability to function effectively. I should also note that in addition to that formal channel with the Office of Protocol there are also informal channels of communication with our geographic branches in Global Affairs Canada. So we have branches that are responsible for Europe and the Middle East, for Africa, for North America, and for Asia Pacific. And so there are daily conversations between missions in those parts of the department, and we wouldn’t necessarily have formal records, but we do understand that there were also complaints lodged through those more informal mechanisms.


  41. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So we heard a range of concerns. A lot of the concerns were around access. It was very hard to get in with -- into the downtown core with any kind of vehicle, personal or otherwise. There were a lot of concerns about noise, which I think were quite similar to what you heard about from Ottawa residents earlier on in the Commission’s proceedings. Also concerns about fumes. And then we, of course, were also concerned about the ability of staff to access their offices, and also for consular clients to access their offices.


  42. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, I did.


  43. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, that’s my understanding as well.


  44. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes. So maybe a couple of things to clarify. The RCMP can probably speak to this better than I can. Usually the concerns of both Embassies and Consulates, and frankly our own protocol people, is around demonstrations that are focused on a particular Embassy. So you’ll see protests because of a certain country’s policies or activities and there are demonstrations like that quite regularly. And so we would count on the RCMP to provide protective policing, if those demonstrations were to the point that we were concerned about the security of that particular facility. What was, I think, quite interesting about the convoy protest is they weren’t directed at diplomatic missions at all. In fact, we were obviously concerned about the safety of diplomatic premises, but we never had any indication that Embassies or official residences of Ambassadors were the target of any of the issues. I think a lot of our concerns were more like the concerns that we heard from regular Ottawa citizens, which was their safety on the street, we were concerned about potential harassment because I think we had heard about many cases where that had happened with public servants, with Ottawa residents. And so under international law, we have a particular responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Diplomats. And so it was that broader context that we were concerned about.


  45. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think it’s fair to say that we were concerned that we would be unable to fulfil our responsibilities. And I think as the convoy went on longer, and there were more and more stories about assaults on the street, about unlawful conduct, an unwillingness to comply with injunctions and so on, that concern just continued to rise over time.


  46. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I became aware of when it would be invoked, I think it was the day of.


  47. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So the input that we provided was through a number of different channels. So it was, first of all, through these DMOCC committees. You know, each day we would do a tour de table and provide inputs from various departments’ perspectives and share information. So each day, I would provide inputs on what we were hearing from diplomatic missions, what we were hearing from trading partners, from businesses, and so on. So that was one channel. We also provided reporting in to the Privy Council Office on issues under Global Affairs Canada’s mandate, and then we also provided information, where appropriate, to the Government Operations Centre. So for instance, our Rapid Response Mechanism, which is referred to in some of our documents, provided its input through the operations -- the Government Operations Centre. So in answer to your question, yes, we were providing input in through various channels that may have informed the decision making.


  48. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  49. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Sure. So RRM stands for the Rapid Response Mechanism. So this was something that was agreed to at the G7 leaders meeting in 2018 in Charlevoix when Canada was the host. And the mandate of the RRM was really to identify and respond to threats from foreign state actors on G7 democracies. And we were particularly focused on threats oriented towards democratic institutions and processes, towards -- threats towards our media and our social media and online environment, and then also threats to the exercise of human rights and freedoms. So this was really, I want to stress, about foreign state actor threats to our democracy.


  50. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, I was.


  51. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So because the mandate of the RRM is to really focus on foreign state sponsored threats to democracy, that’s really what the RRM looks like -- sorry, looks at. So the RRM uses tools that would be publicly available to do analysis of social media. And its focus is really on identifying are their foreign state actors that are introducing disinformation, are they amplifying certain messages in order to mislead or deceive, et cetera.


  52. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes. So these reports were fed in to the Government Operations Centre and while I didn’t share these reports in their entirety with DMOCC, I did provide some of the sort of top line messaging from time to time at DMOCC meetings.


  53. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I wasn’t really involved in the design of the measures, so I don’t really think I can speak to that question, unless I’m misunderstanding the question.


  54. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So -- and again, maybe Mr. Comartin will have additional points to add, but I would say that the response from many of our particularly U.S. interlocutors as a sense of relief. After those measures had been invoked, the concerns about particularly the economic blockades at border crossings, and not just the Ambassador Bridge, but it was Emerson, it was Coutts, it was the border crossing near Surrey in B.C., and then concerns that some of these would reoccur. And so I think the sense of relief was palpable amongst many of our interlocutors in the United States at both the political level, also the business associations, and amongst unions.


  55. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes. I mean I think with the -- following the invocation of the Emergency Act and the enforcement action that happened, the convoy protests were cleared and Missions could go about their usual business and our concerns about being able to uphold our responsibilities under the Vienna Convention were allayed.


  56. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think maybe one thing I just want to add with respect to the point about the RM. While we did not see significant amounts of foreign interference or foreign state, interference in the convoys, I think it’s fair to say that there was a real underlying environment of disinformation that had been profoundly exacerbated during the two years of the Covid pandemic. And in fact during the Covid period we saw extensive information and data from the analysis that we did of significant disinformation efforts by foreign states. So that underlying disinformation environment was I think a really important factor for us in looking at and trying to understand what was happening around the convoys. Thank you.


  57. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Good evening.


  58. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I would say that Global Affairs Canada was particularly interested in the border crossings and the economic blockades that were happening there, but also in the convoy protests here in Ottawa given the concerns we had with respect to diplomatic missions in the downtown core.


  59. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    No, I wouldn’t agree with that characterization; it wasn’t just a matter of inconvenience. As I mentioned to Commission Council, the Government of Canada has an obligation under the Vienna Convention to ensure the safety and security of diplomats here in Canada and to ensure that they are able to carry out their functions without undue difficulty. So we were concerned about being able to fulfill that obligation and I think, given the context in the downtown core, the concern as more than one of just inconvenience.


  60. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I am not aware of physical assaults, but we were always concerned about that possibility given the reports that we had heard of quite a number of physical assaults during that period.


  61. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That is correct.


  62. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That is correct. And it was always a concern that that might happen and, hence, our concern about being able to live up to our Vienna Convention obligations.


  63. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    We were concerned about being able to comply with our international legal obligations.


  64. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  65. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I never said that; I only said that Global Affairs Canada did not do that analysis.


  66. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I haven’t seen any Stats. Can data; what I would say is, that there were multiple impacts, including factories having to close down and I think as my colleague and I have both mentioned, there were an enormous number of concerns about the economic impacts, particularly on the auto sector and there were long term implications that we were very concerned about, about Canada’s reputation as a trade and investment destination.


  67. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I’m not an expert on section 2 of the CSIS Act. Our primary interest, from a Global Affairs Canada perspective when it comes to security, is really thinking about our economic security. And when you consider that the International Trade and Goods and Services is valued at over 60 per cent of GDP, we were actually very concerned about the economic security of this country.


  68. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  69. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I can’t speak to the views of all members of the U.S. administration; I can just say that there were a number of conversations that were had by Canadian Government officials, including the Prime Minister, where there were actually concerns about U.S. funding through the platforms that we had discussed earlier.


  70. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think the concern was that some of the activities of the protesters were illegal.


  71. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, the blockades -- -


  72. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    --- were illegal.


  73. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    It wasn’t a matter of being in downtown Ottawa that was illegal per se. In fact, I think in this democracy, we fiercely protect the ability to peacefully and lawfully protest. It was the matter of the illegal aspects that were a concern.


  74. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think that on matters of what particular aspects were illegal, it is probably better to speak to other witnesses.


  75. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think this is probably a question that is better directed to other witnesses.


  76. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    It's not a matter of not knowing. It is a matter of others being better placed to speak to this.


  77. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Good afternoon.


  78. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  79. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s correct.


  80. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  81. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  82. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  83. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  84. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I'm not sure what you're referring to, but I would say that yes, there are countries where there is political or other instability and that makes investments more risky.


  85. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Well, I think, for instance, if you have a country where you're making a major, say, mining investment and you have significant instability and you maybe can't access that mine -- this happens in some countries -- that would be an example of the kind of stability you'd be looking for.


  86. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    In terms of investors, yes, I would say so.


  87. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    For investments, yes.


  88. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I wouldn't say so. I think that what you had was illegal conduct by individuals and therefore, actions taken in response to that illegal conduct. That is not a corollary to a law-abiding investor.


  89. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    There was illegal conduct at the time.


  90. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think others are best placed. That is not a Global Affairs Canada area of expertise, nor is it my area of expertise.


  91. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think that that is -- I couldn't really speak to that, but I think investors would be looking at much broader considerations in making decisions to invest in a particular country.


  92. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Again, I think the Emergencies Act is a very special consideration that, to my knowledge, is not applied to investors.


  93. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    So I think that on the Emergencies Act, I can't really speak to what other measures you're referring to. I think the reality is that there were a lot of concerns, particularly on the part of some of the U.S. entities that we spoke to that in fact, the economic blockades at border crossings were continuing and there was a tremendous amount of concern on the part of U.S. officials and businesses, unions, that there weren’t effective measures being taken to end those blockades.


  94. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I would simply say that it's kind of a counter-factual point. The reality is that that hadn’t been possible so certainly, in our conversations with U.S. interlocuters, there was a sense of relief once those blockades were ended.


  95. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I can only say that not being an expert on the Emergencies Act itself, that the clearance of the blockades was greeted with relief.


  96. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I've already answered your question.


  97. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  98. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Absolutely. Global Affairs Canada has a certain mandate focused on a number of issues and there are obviously a large number of players who fed into decisions around this matter.


  99. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  100. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, they are.


  101. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  102. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  103. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think our brand for that is very strong and we’d like to keep it that way.


  104. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, I think that’s true.


  105. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I mean, I think what we’ve seen ad the data shows it that that democracy worldwide is in a period of retreat. We’re seeing a rising number of authoritarian governments talking the place of democratic governments or democratic governments becoming less democratic. So it’s always something that we keep a close eye on and at Global Affairs Canada we do have a number of programs where we actually support other countries in shoring up their own democracies. So I think we’re very vigilant about our own.


  106. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I think that certainly there are some foreign state actors that would be quite keen to see the democracies be under attack and be under threat. SO it’s something that we’re vigilant for.


  107. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  108. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, I do.


  109. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    I mean, I think this is what I was trying to refer to earlier where, you know, the convoy from the RRM perspective -- and I think from the perspective of many who looked at this -- did not happen in a vacuum. There was a long period, particularly during the pandemic where we saw an enormous amount of manipulation of the information environment. And what you saw is foreign state actors using disinformation or manipulating information to undermine the reputation of democratic states and their approach to dealing with COVID to undermine confidence in vaccines, particularly vaccines produced by western countries. So there was a whole series of very deliberate efforts that we could track through our social media analysis showing frankly quite successful efforts by some key foreign state actors to sow, we think, a real sense of mistrust in democratic governments and tier approach to dealing with the pandemic.


  110. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes, I do.


  111. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  112. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    That’s right.


  113. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yes. I mean, this is very much what the RRM is finding. And I should note that this report that you've put up on the screen is a report that was done collectively by all of the members of the G-7 RRM. So this is an analysis that is shared across the G-7 and it also includes input from the European Union and other partners. So this is not just a Canadian RRM perspective.


  114. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    It is a young collaboration. I mean, the G-7 version of the RRM was stood up in 2018 so it’s been around for about four years. And this annual report that you're referring to is the first annual report that the RRM G-7 group as a whole has done. So it’s a very important analysis from our perspective of the disinformation environment that we see around us.


  115. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Absolutely. I mean, I think there’s -- you know, disinformation is a longstanding tool of governments, well before the social media age. I think social media has created an entirely new tool and so the RRM -- Canada is specifically focused on that social media environment and understanding it and understanding how disinformation plays in that environment and what its impact is on democratic states like Canada.


  116. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Yeah. I mean, some analysts have suggested that there really wasn’t much of a need for foreign state actors to engage significantly in the convoy information environment because there was already such a high level of disinformation surrounding it.


  117. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)



  118. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Well, I think when the RRM was established, of course, it was well before these protests took place, but I think the RRM was broadly set up to ensure that we were vigilant about any kind of foreign interference in our democracies.


  119. Cindy Termorhuizen, AssocDM (GC-GAC)

    Thank you.