Craig Abrams

Craig Abrams spoke 663 times across 2 days of testimony.

  1. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Good afternoon, sir.


  2. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I have.


  3. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did.


  4. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It does.


  5. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I have no corrections.


  6. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Twenty-seven (27) years, correct.


  7. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. I spent 12 years at Detachment Central Region, five years in uniform, seven years as a detective/constable. Two and a half years as a detective/sergeant in our Professional Standards Bureau in the East Region. Nine months as Executive Sergeant at our local crime unit at Brockville, Ontario. And then with our Provincial Criminal Investigations Branch, I spent three and a half years there as a Staff Sergeant and Detective/ Inspector, and then transferred to East Region Criminal Operations for a couple of years and then became a Superintendent in my current role for the past six years.


  8. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. I had a minor title change. We’re all called Field Operations Superintendents now.


  9. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I apologize. Yes, at the time I was Director of Operations.


  10. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So within each region, we have a Chief Superintendent and two Superintendents. We have 16 detachments. So I took care of eight detachments operationally and took care of their needs. I also took care of Criminal Operations as well as Traffic in this period of time.


  11. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Chief Superintendent Carl Thomas.


  12. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s correct. I’m a trained Incident Commander. I’ve not taken the Critical Incident Commander course.


  13. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I have. Most of our Critical Incident Commanders are of the Inspector rank, so as a Superintendent I sat in on one of their courses so I could understand what they were being instructed on, so that’s how I obtained some of that knowledge in observing those courses.


  14. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    At various ranks, I was involved in at least a handful of different protestor blockades, primarily in the Tyendinaga Mohawks in the Bay of Quinte area. I was the strategic commander for the Tyendinaga rail blockades in 2020 and then strategic commander for this current here for the OPP.


  15. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. I think you heard the witness this morning. She very eloquently described the structure system as how it works. You have the strategic, operational and tactical, so in my role as a strategic commander, my role is to help facilitate the Critical Incident Commanders that are the operational level. If they have exceptional needs or resources, they’ll come to me and I’ll try to make that available to them. My role also is as a -- to create situational awareness for OPP Command and brief OPP Command regularly as to what’s occurring. I also have some oversight on the command and control just to make sure that what our mission we’re trying to accomplish is going to be successful, so I oversee that command and control. And I also look at those areas, try to mitigate any risks that might be involved in our operations. Many of our Critical Incident Commanders are obviously very focused on the jobs they’re doing and may not be aware of what’s occurring around the outside of them, and that’s my job, to make sure their understanding of any political issues or other issues that might be going on outside that could affect what they’re operating on. It’s kind of my job to bring that to their attention.


  16. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not in an operational capacity. I had decision-making authority in relation to -- when this event started, this was a traffic event for the OPP, so my job was to create an Incident Command team to be able to represent the OPP on the arrival of the convoy vehicles, so that was my role initially as strategic commander to make sure that the organization was well suited and prepared for the arrival of the trucks.


  17. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. So as we saw it, as we’ve heard in evidence, we knew vehicles were travelling from across the country from the east and west and from northern Ontario to converge here in Ottawa. Well, to get to Ottawa, you have to travel through OPP jurisdictions primarily. So within each region, we had many jurisdictions on Highway 17, Provincial Highway 417, which are OPP responsibility. I had to make sure that the small communities were prepared for the large influx of convoy vehicles and protestors, so I had to create a team that could support those communities and then also I had to create a traffic plan as to how we’re going to manage the vehicles on the highway. As you heard, I think, from Superintendent Morris, there is a concern are they going to blockade highways, is there going to be damage to highways possibly, so we need to have a strategy in place to manage that if it was to occur. So we used our provincial highway blockade strategy. I had an Incident Commander create an operational plan to prepare for the arrival of the trucks and, as part of that plan, we communicated with the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Service to figure out how can we support them in that because they obviously had a plan for where they wanted these vehicles to be and since we controlled the 417 and the on and off ramps, they needed our support, and so we had to work together on that.


  18. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, policed by us. So specifically the communities of Arnprior and Casselman, Casselman to the east, Arnprior to the north, we knew that they were overnighting in those communities and we did have situations where there was tension at some restaurants where convoy participants maybe not comply with the mask mandates at the time, so we had business owners calling asking for OPP assistance, so I had to prepare my members to be prepared, okay, this is what you may see, so do we have a system in place to help support the citizens and make sure that they remained safe. And we know that they’re only going to be there for the one night, but we needed to make sure we had bolstered members to assist in that capacity.


  19. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. Many times in these major events you have to have a command post. You have to have somewhere to work out of. So within East Region Headquarters, which is located in Smiths Falls, Ontario, we have a room which is called Emergency Operations Centre. And so we have a place for all the parties that help participate in these events, so Traffic Services, PLT, Media Relations, Criminal Operations, Incident Command that all sit in that room and focus on that one task of completing the mission, and that's kind of where we try to have a unified command sitting in that one location. And I'm available to them when they need me.


  20. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Right. January 24th, I was asked to be the strategic commander for the OPP in relation to the traffic event, and then I would say at least that day or the day after I called Deputy Bell and said, "This is my role. What can we do to assist you?" And then we had Intersect calls, which I can explain if you like what Intersect is. And on those calls, we discussed where vehicles would park and how the OPP could support the influx of the vehicles later in that week.


  21. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  22. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. It's a multijurisdictional all hazards emergency preparedness group that focuses on the national capital region. It's been in place for many years now. I've been part of Intersect for over four years. And there's over 60 clients that are connected to Intersect. And we talk about many different pillars: health, cyber, terrorism, law enforcement. And we have regular monthly meetings and phone calls, and there's also subgroups of Intersect, one of them being law enforcement, where we meet and have discussions. I want to say it was January 24th. I emailed -- I apologize. I'll go back with the -- Intersect Program is chaired by the Ottawa Police Service, co-chaired by Ottawa Police Service, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP. And currently, they have a civilian kind of a programmer that runs the program that Ottawa Police provides. Her name is Kim Stirrup (ph). So I emailed Kim early in the week because I'd heard about -- I unfortunately was away from the workplace for two weeks prior to the 24th, and I knew that we regularly met when major events were coming to the national capital. Normally, we would talk to each other, and I hadn't seen an invite for a meeting. So I emailed her and said, "I think we should get the group together and have discussions about how we're going to -- this is all going to affect us." So she generated that meeting invite and we had a meeting shortly thereafter.


  23. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So I was -- I spoke with Deputy Bell and I also worked with my -- I had my traffic inspector connect with the Ottawa Police traffic inspector to say, "Okay, you guys need to work out traffic angle and then report up to myself as an incident commander as to what we can do to facilitate the traffic." He would have to come up with a traffic plan. So that Inspector Dave Tovell is the one who wrote the operational plan for the OPP response to this event that was supposed to occur over a single day. And he worked with his counterpart with Ottawa Police to make sure that we were supporting them in the way they needed it.


  24. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I should back up, sorry. Obviously, it was a multi-day in our purposes because they were stopping overnight in Arnprior the night before, so it was more than one night, but they expected the majority of the vehicles were going to make their way into the City of Ottawa on one particular day. So that was kind of the day we wanted to make sure that we had all our resources available to prepare for what with vehicle stoppages, road blockages, those types of things. And our Provincial Liaison Team, as the Commission has heard about, they were engaged with many of the convoy leaders and they talked about routes they would take and they would only take up one lane of 417, wouldn't take up all the lanes. And then Ottawa Police had told us what off-ramps that they wanted us to have them go off at. So we worked with our partners with EMTO and ourselves to make sure we had those ramps ready for their arrival.


  25. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  26. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The majority arrived in the villages of Arnprior and Casselman the night before. They overnighted there. And the plan was the next morning to make their way into the City of Ottawa.


  27. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was. As Superintendent Morris spoke about, Hendon originated many years ago and not just because of this event. And because of my involvement in many of the Indigenous protests in my role, I have been on the Hendon remail distribution list for many years. So I received all those Hendon reports, not only for this period of time, but also in the past.


  28. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. Like I said, for the two-week period of January 11th to the 22nd, I was away from the workplace. When I returned, I reviewed my emails and caught up on my Hendon reports upon my return from work. But, yes, I have reviewed the Hendon reports as they came in because they directly impacted our planning as to what we were going to do to make sure that we had all our angles covered in case something from the report indicated that there might be a problem in the Village of Arnprior, or there might be intelligence in the case there might be problems in Casselman. Those are things I needed to know, and my incident commander needed to know, so we reviewed them religiously.


  29. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I certainly, based on the reports, saw many different views of what might happen in Ottawa. We saw social media reports that said there might be 34,000 vehicles that arrive in Ottawa. We saw the reports that might be only in the hundreds. I think as recently as January 24th Hendon report, one of the intelligence gaps that's indicated on the report says unknown exact number of vehicles that will be attending Ottawa. So even as late as the 24th, we weren't a hundred percent sure on numbers, so we had an intense range from social media saying 30,000, 32,000 to in the hundreds.


  30. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did not discuss Hendon directly with anybody at Ottawa Police Service, no.


  31. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do.


  32. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, it was part of the regular Intersect call. Normally, they do round table -- this is more specific to this event, so we kind of open the floor to Ottawa Police Service, and they spoke about their event, and they spoke about their plans to manage the convoy vehicles that were travelling to their city.


  33. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was no written plan shared on the call. It was all verbal. They indicated that they had a plan and had a capacity to accept 3,000 vehicles in their city. And then they set about describing on what streets those vehicles would park in. In my notes, I made notes of the call. I noted the streets. I just don't have the streets and the exact vehicle numbers, but they had, you know, Sir John A MacDonald Parkway, X number of vehicles could park there. Wellington Street, X number of vehicles could park there. They spoke about how the convoy leaders agreed to only take three of four lanes on Wellington Street and leave one lane open for emergency vehicles. Other vehicles would take up side streets off of Wellington and keep the curb lane open for emergency vehicles. That's how they described their interactions with the convoy leaders.


  34. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    This was the first I'd heard about how Ottawa planned to deal with the vehicles that were travelling to their city.


  35. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I didn't. As much as I had seen Henton reports like we've heard evidence here that obviously motivated individuals travelling from east coast to west coast, very well funded, indications that they may spend multiple days, some in the reports said three days, but, certainly, it looked like multiple days. But I think Superintendent Morris talked about being in your lane. I had to stay in my lane, and I had a lot of experience working with the Ottawa Police Service with other major events and seen their abilities, very professional organization. And it wasn't my place to question whether they were ready. I had to make that assumption that they were ready. They were talking calmly about what their plans were. They felt that it was going to be successful, and it was not my place to question them. I assume they had that plan in place, and my job was there to just -- to support them.


  36. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I didn’t have concerns. It certainly was unique. Not something that I’ve ever experienced, large vehicles -- I’ve experienced a large number of persons but not that number of vehicles. But, once again, I had to rely on the Ottawa Police with that experience; they were the police of jurisdiction, and it was just not my place to question. I had to assume that they had a solid plan, and ---


  37. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- we were there to support. Sorry.


  38. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t recall it. I just recall conversation about how, you know, vehicles travelling from Quebec had impact the citizens of Quebec, Gatineau Police. We just talked about impacts that traffic flow would have, but I don’t recall anybody questioning what Ottawa Police was speaking about.


  39. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I recall discussions about, you know, could we have the vehicles park at the Canadian Tire Centre, the hockey arena, and have them shuttle-bused down to the downtown core. My view, that’s more difficult; if you’re a truck driver and you’ve driven your truck multiple days and weeks across the country, you’re likely not going to be happy to park it at the Canadian Tire Centre. But -- so I know some areas were opened up by the City to allow some overflow parking but those ideas, I didn’t believe came to fruition.


  40. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The weekend at the most.


  41. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sorry; consistent in what context?


  42. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. Because I was relying on Ottawa Police believed it would be a weekend event, so who was I to question that it wasn’t -- if they believed it, I believed it, and we were partners in it. And as much as Hendon did say those other things, I had to take some faith that Ottawa had a plan and that we would be done on Sunday evening, maybe Monday morning at the latest.


  43. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was more Hendon report -- there was more intel to indicate that they were staying longer, than staying shorter, for sure, there was. And I just had to assume that Ottawa had a capacity to manage what may have been a longer-term event; that there must have been a plan B, let’s say, for lack of a better word, that, “Yeah, if these people do stay after Monday, then we pull out plan B and we activate plan B.” Those were just assumptions I was making that because we all knew, and we all had access to those Hendon reports, we knew the possibility it could be longer, there must be a contingency plan in place if Monday is still locked up.


  44. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was not.


  45. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I reported to my Chief Superintendent, Karl Thomas, about what was occurring. I reported to my Incident Commander, of course, because he wasn’t on the call; it was Inspector Scott Semple, he was Incident Commander at the time, to say that I’d had this conversation, this is what Ottawa’s plan is for the vehicles. And that’s when I asked my traffic inspector to connect with their traffic inspector, and just filled my superior in on what I’d heard on the call.


  46. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t recall seeing q plan for that weekend.


  47. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did not.


  48. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not as much. Not in -- it’s another policing jurisdiction, unless it had ties to OPP operations in the plan, I wouldn’t normally see it because it didn’t impact me or my service.


  49. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would agree.


  50. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    On many levels; unprecedented in size, the vehicles used. Lots of unprecedented natures to the event for sure.


  51. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Actually, within a week after the end of the event, I just felt because of my role that the organization would likely want to hear from what I experienced, so I created the Will Say then. I didn’t even know that a Commission was coming for that, or that interviews may be coming several months later. I just did it because I knew the facts were fresh in my mind at the time. There was so many things that happened that -- most made it into my notebook, but there were so many things that were independent recollections that I didn’t want to lose, so both myself and Chief Pardy created these type of documents around the same period of time.


  52. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. No later than two weeks after the end of the event.


  53. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s Insp. Dawn Ferguson. She’s Detachment Commander of our Renfrew Detachment, but she’s also a trained Critical Incident Commander. So as part of our planning for this event, because it was a traffic event on the 417, the National Capital Regional Command Centre was stood up and most of the policing partners were housed there: MTO, OPS, Gatineau Police. So it was important for us to have a leader there to be able to help direct the traffic and have better communication flow between all the agencies. So I asked her to be there and be able to report back to the Incident Commander at the OC, which was Insp. Semple and myself; they both fell under myself. And her role there was to kind of monitor how things were occurring and how the vehicles were travelling into the city and report back at what was occurring with our partners.


  54. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    She did.


  55. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I want to say it was around mid-morning; 11:47, I think the time was. I may be mistaken on the time, but she indicated that she was experiencing dysfunction within the NCRCCs, specifically to the OPS commander, Insp. Lucas. He was yelling profanities, not only at her but we also had a staff sergeant there, Lisa Nicholas, and also they were yelling profanities at each other. And they had clearly, seemed to her, had lost some control over what was occurring and didn’t have a way to figure it out and they were trying to offer assistance to them in the form of officers to help. If they had calls for service in the City of Ottawa they weren’t able to get to because all their members were tied up downtown, that we could provide some of that service, but they weren’t able to get command communication back to say yes we could use that or not.


  56. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We offered everything from a public order unit assistance, Rapid Response Team, QRT Teams, we kind of use that term. We had Quick Response Teams; if they had an armed robbery, let’s say, in Kanata, and everybody was tied up with the convoy downtown, we could rally members together to help them out with those major calls that they were obviously stretched to be able to get to.


  57. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was the term Insp. Ferguson used to me.


  58. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Because obviously I wasn’t experiencing it, that’s what she was experiencing and that’s how she described it to me.


  59. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Just a lack of what to do. There was no real plan as to who do we send where, what do you want me to do? Lots of questions about where the resources -- their resources were supposed to go; lots of confusion in that aspect.


  60. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did.


  61. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. Essentially, it was an agreement that we would be the contacts with each other throughout this event. Obviously, they're going to have to have a contact from the OPP, so we agreed that we would be each other's contact. If he needed something from the OPP, he would call me, and vice versa, so we had arranged that process early on.


  62. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'd have to check my notes. I know I've offered assistance; I just can't remember if it was this particular day.


  63. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Which date -- I can look quickly here. I have my notes with me as to what date.


  64. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I -- so I advised him that we had 18 members at our Kanata detachment, which is our Ottawa detachment, including two sergeants that could assist if required. He acknowledged and stated that he would relay that information to his incident commander. And we waited. There was no real reply, and then at 1830, I again contacted and made a final offer for assistance to the Ottawa Police Service, and at 1900 they advised us that there was really no help required. And that was through Staff Sgt. Nicholas who was in the NCRCC.


  65. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah. They were just -- there was no -- we never heard back. We just called again to say, "We made the offer at just after 4 o'clock. Do you still need these 18 officers?" and there was just no reply back to say they wanted them and then finally, at 1900, they stated that there was just no help required.


  66. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    They were just frontline constables that we would have pulled from detachment operations within 45-minute tower radius of Ottawa, the soonest we could get members there to help support without critically damaging our ability to police the communities they were serving. It was strictly just members who were currently on duty that we could pull. We have a region immobilization plan that kind of has a set number of -- based on how many are working on this day, this is how many officers we could move to other locations in an emergency, so we were able to dictate, okay, we can survive with pulling 18 if they need it.


  67. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s the most I could summon in that short order. This region's a rather large region, but within an hour of Ottawa, that’s the most I could muster at that period of time.


  68. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe the next day they agreed. My inspector, Luc Duval, indicated that we had members that were prepared to go to Ottawa, and they were sending -- they had 18 but I think initially they were going to send 10, and they sent 10 downtown to Elgin Street to be deployed, mainly in a traffic service capacity and helping out with traffic control, closing streets. And then shortly thereafter, I heard back from my incident commander, Inspector Ferguson, that only two of those members had been used and the rest had been sitting there for over, I believe it was four hours, and they were on day shift. It was late in the day. And I said, "Pull them from Elgin. We can't let them sit around there any longer." So then I reached out to Deputy Bell just to let him know this is what's happening, and he indicated that he apologized and said there was a lack of communication within their bureau, within their service, and that he would rectify it.


  69. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It's hard to recall, because we spoke so often, but certainly, there was the offer. He knew that he was going to have to ask for more assistance. Inspector Duval indicated that through Inspector Lucas that there was going to be a formal ask coming for more assistance from the OPP. It was unknown what that number was going to look like, but it was likely going to come. And so Deputy Bell and I would have had that conversation to say, "Look, it's coming. They haven't figured out the exact number yet, but there's going to be a further request for resources coming."


  70. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    In a formal way it would do that, but Deputy Bell could call me to say, "I need 30 people," and we would operationalize that right away. The formal paperwork can take its time and move its way from Ottawa to Orillia, but we're not going to wait for the formal paperwork. They're partner agencies. We're going to help them in their time of need, and I would have mustered those members and got them to Ottawa prior to any letter being signed by the Commissioner.


  71. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Mainly because of the hours they'd already been working. They'd already been working over 12 hours that day, so they're on 14 hours. If they were then just starting to work, it would be unfair to those members to work past the period of time they were working, so that’s why I pulled them.


  72. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It was really not going well. I was getting lots of reports from my members at the NCRCC. There was lots of dysfunctions to lots of yelling, lots of unknowns of what they were going to do. On the 31st of January I had a conversation with Deputy Bell where he basically said, "We're planning for a protracted event and we really don’t know our way out of this." So that was the first indication to me on the 31st that we were going to be in for a long haul to assist them. So I had to prepare my incident command team to kind of switch to say, "Okay. Now, might have to switch operations to supporting the Ottawa Police, and I'm not 100 percent what the numbers are going to look like yet, but it's clear, through talking to Deputy Bell, that it's going to be protracted. They don’t see a way out and they're going to be relying on us and other services to help them."


  73. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. He's a critical incident commander, a major critical incident commander.


  74. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Early on, there was discussion within our own organization as to, you know, how were we going to structure this support for Ottawa? Would Inspector Varga come down and act as the MCIC to help direct OPP resources to assist Ottawa? What was the command structure looking like, because there was concerns over what the Ottawa Police command structure was going to look like. So there was just a lot of general discussions about how best can we insert ourselves and integrate ourselves and provide the support that’s required. A lot of that conversation resolved around that.


  75. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Within Ontario, a lot of the services have Public Order Unit hub, and they communicate with each other when they require services. So this request wouldn't necessarily have gone directly through myself. POU and POU commanders reported to me indirectly, but I certainly didn’t direct other operations, because they're trained POU commanders. They would tell me when the request comes in. So I recall that a request from PPS came in for support, and we discussed about well, where is this support? Is it at PPS or is it with Ottawa? Who needs the support the most? And it was, as agreed amongst the POU subject-matter experts that they would begin supporting the Parliamentary Protective Services first and then, if required, transition to support Ottawa.


  76. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I didn’t ask specifics because it wasn’t my subject-matter expertise. I relied on their expertise to say that something -- PPS told them they needed protect them and support them first and then always be available to Ottawa if they required it.


  77. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t say that that’s the case because I wasn’t engaged in these conversation with Public Order. My role was on a frontline capacity; we call them Soft Hats, so your normal police officer you’d see on the street. So that was my focus. Public Order command was separate to me so they would have their conversations and if they felt they needed to added Public Order to Ottawa they would do that on their own and just notify me that it was happening. I was providing around 30 officers a day at this period of time to Ottawa Police, 15 on days and 15 on nights, primarily to just do traffic services, traffic enforcement just at intersections, closing roads, and I let the incident commanders like Joe Vargo and his Public Order Unit commanders work out what system they felt they needed to do with their Public Order partners in Ottawa and other services.


  78. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s correct.


  79. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was not. There would have just been a phone call to say, “Superintendent, there’s going to be POU in Ottawa supporting PPS and Ottawa Police,” and I would general, “We’re on the ground today and we’ve got this many on the ground doing QRT, or this many on the ground doing this.” But that was the extent of the notifications I was receiving.


  80. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t say. And that’s the - - kind of the essence of the command structure. As a strategic commander, I’m not going to get necessarily into the weeds. I trust my subject-matter experts, incident commanders, POU commanders to know what they need to do. We had many other priorities going on around the province with other borders through Bluewater Bridge and the Ambassador Bridge; we had to protect international border crossings so they may have been redeployed to those other areas. But kind of the nature of that major critical incident command structure is, for a person like me and the role I was in, do not get too far into the weeds. So that’s why I would not necessarily have been advised.


  81. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was concerned. I really thought and hoped that we could resolve it prior to that period of time because as -- from my experience with other blockades, the longer they go, the more people that are attracted and the more people you now have to deal with, and it makes the job of a police service that much difficult -- that much more difficult to be able to manage. So I was hoping that we could develop something between the multiple groups at the table to be able to deal with it prior to the four weeks. But there was -- it was a surprise to hear that early in the game, that they were already looking four weeks down the road.


  82. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Most certainly. I had to reach out to my inspector, my Chief Superintendent but also my Inspector and incident commanders to say, “Okay, now we have to start scheduling for four weeks out. Let’s try to figure out how we can provide the resources that Ottawa needs. We’re going to expect that they’re going to expect more than 30 a day as the days move on, so how are we going to do this?” We had to engage -- in our organization, we have an Emergency Operations Centre in Orillia, and that’s part of their role is to help with major planning for major events. So it was clear that it was going to start getting out of my ability on a regional level to staff Ottawa police with just regional people. We were going to have to start bringing in people from all over the province so that we needed help in that logistic so we reached out to Orillia Emergency Operations Centre to say, “Okay, get ready. It’s going to be an extended event,” and we start identifying regional contacts to start relaying what Ottawa’s going to need and how many people we can get to Ottawa. And then I had to stand up a much more robust logistics team and now plan for hotels and be able to staff and feed and deploy all these people and most likely find a bigger command post to manage it because now it’s going to be growing.


  83. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, he’s in our Field Support Bureau.


  84. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Right, so as Superintendent of Field Support Bureau, they cover the majority of the OPP’s Emergency Services, so Tactical Response Units, Emergency Response Teams, which are our Public Order Units -- they’re Emergency Response officers and they’re POU trained so that falls under their bureau, which falls under Deputy DiMarco’s bureau, so he would have had -- and he also is in control of our EOC, so he had a lot -- a large role to play in what was happening.


  85. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. This is the first I’m seeing the email so you’ll have to -- I apologize. I’m reading through it.


  86. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So he has concerns about, I guess, a terminology. I think we’ve kind of heard with Deputy Ferguson that the Ottawa Police may refer to their critical command structure a little bit differently than us so nomenclature and naming can sometimes cause confusion. So I think that’s what he -- they’re referring to in No. 1 and what - - whether they need -- do they incident commanders? Do they need major critical incident commanders? And do they understand what the true function of a CAC is? Could that be done with just an incident commander? So I think he’s just trying to clarify to them, “Can you go back to them to clarify what is it they really need because then we know what we can send them?” because there’s three levels of command. Incident command, critical incident command, and major critical incident command come with many different skills so you want to try to keep it to the lowest level as possible.


  87. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As far as I’m aware, there’s fairly standardized processes but, as we heard, they had the term “event commander” which meant “incident commander”, so I guess some municipalities may choose to use different terminology than others but, from my understanding of the critical incident command process, naming conventions are fairly consistent.


  88. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. And that’s kind of where the line divides here. So I’m getting requests from Deputy Bell for frontline officers and we’re very clear around what he wants them to do and what they're going to do. They're getting requests from Ottawa Police Public Unit Command about what they want them to do. So his concern is what he's hearing from the Public Order side of Ottawa Police. And I'm making assumptions here because I wasn't involved in this email. It's a little more clear on my side because I can ask those direct questions, what do you want them to do? How many cars do you want them to bring? What are their roles and responsibilities, so I can find those people with those skills. Whereas, here, it seems that the Public Order Unit request from Ottawa was maybe a little vague and not as specific about exactly what they wanted and what exactly what they wanted them to do. And that can cause frustration for sure.


  89. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Initially for sure. I mean, along the way, there was certain frustrations about where do you want our people and when. That was more minor, but it was very clear he needed the most help relieving his members from the downtown core, so they could get some rest. And that's -- what his -- kind of his focus was on the maintenance piece first, and that was the easiest piece for us to help him with, because they didn't have to have specialized skills. They just had to be police officers with a cruiser.


  90. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did. Observed -- and I did speak to Deputy Bell about this as well, I just observed multiple points. They had an incident commander at their Greenbank location. They had some commanders at their Elgin Street Headquarters, and they had Inspector Lucas at the NCRCC. They were all spread out across the city. It was almost like a left-hand, right-hand situation. Inspector Lucas may not have been aware of what the incident commander superintendent was doing at Greenbank. And it bore out in Public Order Unit work as well. So I had some conversations with Deputy Bell about that, just to say these are the frustrations my people are seeing. He recognized that right away. He understood they were trying to do their best to become more unified. I wasn't telling him anything he hadn't heard or seen himself, I think. But we -- yeah, for the benefit of my people, that's why I was there. To protect my people, and when they wanted me to message with Ottawa Police, that was my role. And we did have lots of conversation around the difficulty we were seeing in their incident command structures, yes.


  91. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, he seemed very receptive. He seemed to understand and said, "Yes, Craig, we're doing the best we can."


  92. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It is exactly how it was at the time, yes.


  93. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Essentially, it was the NCRCC housed all our partner agencies and I felt it would be a real -- we'd be missing out on a lot if we didn't put something there, so we needed somebody to coordinate what was happening. They had access to MTO cameras. They had access to Ottawa Police radios because Ottawa Police was right there. So they were able to provide a lot more real time and quick information to those incident commanders that were sitting at the Ottawa Command Post. So that's why we had those two inspectors at those locations. And then Inspector Dave Springer, who is a trained POU commander and an MCIC, he was taking care of the POU command side.


  94. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And they all kind of reported up to myself.


  95. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I am.


  96. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did not.


  97. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Based on my experience, I guess, is the best example. I hadn't -- even up to this point, I had already heard about issues integrating PLT into this process. And all the blockades I've been involved in, I've seen nothing but success from our PLT team. They're a amazingly dedicated group of individuals who are able to establish relationships with protestors and able to start discussions about, okay, why are you here. You know, what are you protesting? How long do you plan to be here? Can we help you with an exit strategy? They're obviously trained in the framework that's been adopted by the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs, which I think the Commission's heard about already. And they've done amazing work to be able to resolve a lot of situations without having to use POU, just through negotiation and discussions and allowing groups, whatever they happen to be, exit on their own and without having to have police enforcement. Now we've had to use police enforcement at times, for sure, but I did not see that piece being used in this situation. I didn't see Intelligence being used to lead a solution. I didn't see PLT being used to lead a solution. So that's why I felt maybe he was being a little premature. I didn't see that all these steps had been tried yet. I guess if all those steps had been tried and every tool in our toolbox had been used and we were still at ground zero, maybe you could think about that in that way, but I just didn't think that we had used all our tools yet, so I couldn't agree with that statement.


  98. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not too longer -- not too long after the February 2nd date -- my other date's wrong -- we had already sent our OPP PLT team to Ottawa to support them. So they were already on the ground trying to support. So I was already hearing frustrations on integration. They weren't able to be integrated. They weren't given autonomy to make decisions. So I was more communicating with Deputy Bell because they would call me and Inspector Beaudin, which the Commission will hear from who runs the PLT program, he would call me, his sergeants would call me to say, "Sir, we're not getting anywhere here." The actual Ottawa Police Service team's not giving autonomy to connect with convoy drivers, make a lot of those concessions, which they do. And so they were just -- they were floundering. They didn't feel they had a role. They didn't see a plan. There was no PLT plan, which normally there is a plan for PLT. There was none. So I wasn't as much communicating with them as they were communicating with me about their concerns. And part of my role as strategic commander was deconfliction. So I would reach out to Deputy Bell and say, "Steve, this is what we're seeing and we're hearing from Chief Sloly and other commanders that PLT is important to the solution of this problem, but we're just not seeing it be operationalized." And that's not unique sometimes if you're at a high level like a Chief and you're not seeing what's happening on the ground. Maybe that's news to Chief Sloly; right? So it was important for me on behalf of my members and for the Ottawa Police Service to bring it to their attention and see if they can make some changes to get them more autonomy, and get them more engaged, and try to stress upon Deputy Chief Bell the successes I've seen and the importance of using them to help move this forward.


  99. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Positive. Deputy Bell agreed. He understood the importance of the integration and that he was going to make sure that that was happening.


  100. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  101. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Right. So they were asked as part of the kind of formal ask from Chief Sloly to come and help their planners come up with a plan. And I heard from them regularly about their frustrations. And they were kind of given three tasks and number 1 was a plan to go intersection by intersection, and number 2 was -- I don't know if -- mass arrest may be the wrong word, but just another plan, another enforcement plan. And the third plan was kind of a status quo plan that it kind of hold the streets for a certain period of time. There was questions about who they reported to within the Ottawa Police Service, who's responsible for this plan, who's going to sign off on the plan. And at a certain period, one of the OPS inspectors, Marin, came in the room and said, "Whatever you were told to do, forget it. Chief Sloly wants you to come up with a whole new plan. You report to me now, and go to work." And they essentially walked away from the table and called me and relayed this information to me to say, "Sir, can you help us? This isn't working." And then I called Deputy Bell and explained, and he explained, "No, these members report to --" I think it was Superintendent -- maybe Acting Superintendent Dunlop -- and they were to take direction from him. So the planning table was having its own frustrations itself.


  102. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  103. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not that I ever saw, no.


  104. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was clear myself that he was their incident commander in the early days. I knew that he was the one I needed to contact if I had incident commander type conversations I needed to have. I knew he was the one to call. So it wasn’t unclear to me at that stage. It changed as days moved forward. It became confusing because they changed incident commanders fairly quickly, but in the early days, the period of time we're talking about, I knew that he was the person to contact.


  105. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, very much so. There was confusion amongst the PLT. They didn’t know who they reported to. Obviously, just -- the planners didn’t know who they were supposed to report to and there was confusion about who had authority to make decisions and move our plan forward.


  106. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. That’s kind of the job of a strategic commander again. I talked about situational awareness. It was important for me to let my command, including Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner Carrique be aware of what I was seeing and the concerns I was seeing in the hopes that Commissioner Carrique or Deputy Commissioner Harkins could have higher-level conversations with Chief Sloly. So I had to make them aware of what was occurring because in a way, we had to protect our members, you know? If we're going to bring more members into an event that was dysfunctional and dangerous, that’s -- my job is to protect our members, so I didn’t want to do that either. So and that really, I was the eyes and ears of the organization for the -- until Chief Pardy arrived, that was essentially my role, situational awareness reporting up to senior command and deconflicting the issues that I saw with PLT and our planners, and just trying to navigate logistical challenges that Ottawa Police required help on the street with traffic.


  107. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. So I would hear from my members, either attached to the PLT team or attached to the planning teams, and they would express concerns to me, and then I would commit to them that I would reach out to Deputy Bell to see what we could do to try to resolve.


  108. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do. In fact, I remember it was predicated with Chief Sloly saying that due to new intelligence, this is what he wanted to do.


  109. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No. That’s why I was quite confused. I was in my command post watching the news, and I saw Chief Sloly and Deputy Bell on the TV announcing this, and it caused me great concern.


  110. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It was totally out of the blue, unprepared, unaware.


  111. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The OPP was responsible for the 417 and all on ramps and off ramps. We had partnerships with the MTO. As you're aware, Ottawa has many on ramps and off ramps on the 417. I certainly also even had a -- even if we had the members to do it, which we did not, I still questioned what that does. There's lots of ways to get into downtown Ottawa. You don’t have to use the 417. So I had two issues. Number 1, I currently did not have the capacity to do what I was hearing I wanted to be done in relation to OPP-policed highways; and I also questioned the intelligence just because three things; and I questioned how would that help? So I reached out to Deputy Bell right away.


  112. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I just -- I texted him, I believe, to say, "Steve, if this is true, we need to talk because this is going to have huge additional impacts on me and my organization, and you haven't talked timelines. Chief Sloly's almost talking immediately. It's never going to happen immediately." And then he called me shortly after to say, "No, Craig. We're not going to do this." And then I asked, "What's this new intelligence?" And he said, "Obviously, there's no intelligence, Craig. You're the ones, the OPP, that are providing us the intelligence." But certainly, maybe CSIS or another intelligence network may have provided the information. That was my concern. But he indicated that that there was no new intelligence and there was no plan to close ramps. And I reached out to my inspector, Inspector Ferguson at the NCRCC. She talked to her Ottawa Police Service inspectors, and they also had never heard of this plan and started to become upset because they were never even notified this is the Chief's idea.


  113. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We closed some off ramps on the initial arrival just to try to focus them to use ramps that were open. We did that. And off and on throughout this whole event, we would do that. If we saw a large convoy wanting to come to Ottawa, we would open and close certain off ramps just to get them into the city in a cleaner fashion, and we would communicate with the convoy leaders to make that happen. So -- and the bridges, the bridges, I believe almost every bridge is within ease of the City of Ottawa, so the only time we ever did bridges was during the COVID lockdown when they had the provincial lockdowns and we did bridges in OPP jurisdiction, but not in the City of Ottawa. But it obviously pre-dated this event.


  114. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It was totally at the request of OPS. OPS was the police of jurisdiction so we were essentially attached to their hip. What they wanted, if they wanted us to do it, we could only do what they wanted. We couldn't read their mind as to what their plan was because there was no plan, so we would essentially wait, they would phone us, they would say, "Could you close this ramp for this period of time for this reason?" If we had the resources to do it, we would do it, and then reopen the ramp.


  115. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. I apologize. I mean, it come out wrong. The Ottawa Police would have wanted us to close the ramp because of an operational issue they had, so they were reaching out to us to do it for their purpose.


  116. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As the OPP, we generally did not just close ramps just because we wanted to. It would have been at the request of Ottawa Police because they had an issue within the City and they need our help on the ramp. Sorry, I wasn’t clear.


  117. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Well, yeah, just based on the sheer number. I mean, obviously, a ramp or two for collisions is normal, but to hear all ramps, that was concerning because that’s a large number.


  118. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was about the unified command conversation?


  119. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was about unified command?


  120. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t recall that happening in that conversation. More resource requests happened continually throughout the event but I just don’t know if that happened in that conversation.


  121. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Once the incident commanders were in place at the NCRCC, all of those requests would go to the incident, and then they would come to myself or my incident commander, and then we would do what we needed to do logistically in the province to try to get those officers to the City of Ottawa.


  122. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I recall Insp. Younan sending an email as it relates to -- I think this is the period of time where it was an email where Chief Sloly was directing a lot of different things that he wanted to see happen and one of those things, S/Sgt. Gauvin was woken up in the early hours and the request was for OPP/Public Order Unit to help clear this particular area. S/Sgt. Gauvin handled it himself and put them off, just saying like, “No, this is not part of our framework. This is not how we operate,” and was able to delay that operation.


  123. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    But it was part of a bigger email chain, I believe, on that day.


  124. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I certainly had concerns because there was no plan. These were ideas and concepts of what they wanted to happen but if it didn’t come with a plan, I certainly wasn’t going to offer OPP support to just do that based on, you know, a one-line email. I understand that was our goal but there had to be a cogent plan for that to happen and, up to this point, I still hadn’t seen on. And so we couldn’t allow that, to have OPP participate in that.


  125. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m a -- you have to have a plan. It’s backwards to do it just by numbers. You have to have a plan. And once you have a plan that your subject-matter experts, your incident commanders, your MCICs all agree on, then, okay, what human resources do we need to make this plan effective and successful?


  126. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Every situation is different but, certainly, my POU commanders are going to want to see an operational about, “What was the intent? What are you going to ask our people to do? How many of them do you need? And what is the expectation of them?” because they want to make sure it matches with out framework, it matches with our organizational values, so they want to be able to have answers to all those things before they ever say yes. So, normally, that involves seeing a plan.


  127. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It’s just it’s not an appropriate use of our resources. We need to have an idea; “What do you want to do with those 500? We’ll get them going but we have to have some idea. Currently, there is absolutely nothing that says what they’ll do. Will they do traffic control? Will they do QRT patrols? What will you have them do? I’m not going to bring 500 officers to Ottawa, literally fly them from Sioux Lookout all over the province, try to find somewhere for them to stay without having an understanding of what they’re doing.” And that’s -- that goes for municipal police service, too. They need to have an understanding of what their members are going to do. We’re protecting our members; we’re not going to send them several hours away and say, “Go to Ottawa. I really don’t know what you’re going to do. I really don’t know how long you’re going to be there. I don’t know what to tell you to pack. Just show up there and we’ll figure it out when we get there.” That’s just not how we operate.


  128. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe they’re still there trying. I don’t know that they’re sitting around the table working on it because I feel that their frustrations have bubbled over to the point where they just couldn’t put pen to paper at that point.


  129. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’d have to check my notes but I know I had a couple of different calls directly with the Commissioner to advise them of what I was seeing and what I discussed. I’d just have to look to see the date.


  130. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    If you say that’s the day, then ---


  131. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Many of the things you’ve already heard, the disorganization, inability to have PLT get engaged in what needed to get done, concerns with the incident command structure within the Ottawa Police, and an uncertainty of what role they wanted us to play in supporting their operations, and was really looking for him to engage with Chief Sloly to have those conversations to say, “In case you weren’t aware, this is what’s happening. What can we do to try to resolve?”


  132. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah. I know from one recollection, Commission Carrique advised that he had talked to Chief Sloly had told him, “Yes, PLT is an important part of our plan and we want to embed it in our plan. It’s the way forward,” and he indicated that he thought that that’s what was occurring and he felt that there was a productive conversation.


  133. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    In the early days, I’d say maybe every third or fourth day we would have a group call and update him on what was occurring. If things were stressing to the point -- around this period of time, things were getting more stressful and, basically, my members, Insp. Beaudin, and them were saying, “We need to talk to the Commissioner about this to let him know what’s happening,” and I would ask those calls to happen.


  134. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So the first I learned about it was in -- I received an invitation to join a Zoom call, video call with Chief Sloly and his command. And apparently, he had heard that the OPP PLT team was leaving, and he wanted to talk to me about it. I didn't know anything really about that until I got on the call and then I heard the story, much like Deputy Chief Ferguson told this morning. Essentially, PLT had gone to the Coventry Road site to try to negotiate the removal of some gasoline, and Major Incident Commander Patterson was aware of this and chose to use it as an enforcement opportunity. And when the gas was being driven away, his members pulled the vehicles over, seized the gas and charged the members. And that caused extreme stress amongst the PLT team, both Ottawa Police Service and OPP PLT members to the point where the Ottawa Police PLT members just said, "You folks, you should go home. We've lost." We've lost all -- any goodwill we were able to reach with some of the convoy organizers or operators was now lost because there's no way they could not have seen the connect between them trying to negotiate a removal of gas and then being arrested. It was too obvious. So there was much concern about that, but on this call, I learned that Staff Sergeant Ferguson, who's in charge of Ottawa Police PLT, didn't know that that was Superintendent Patterson's plan all along. They hadn't communicated. It was a shock -- it was as much of a shock to him as anybody else.


  135. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  136. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was having discussions with my own PLT members who were -- they had decided on their own to try to pair up with Ottawa Police PLT members because they were seeing it firsthand. As you heard this morning, the Ottawa Police PLT program is different than the OPP program. Ours is full time, OPS is part time. And they seemed to be used more as an intelligence gathering capacity rather than trying to make concessions, figure out what exit plans are. There's more, hey, who's in this truck, who are you, what are you doing here. And didn't seem to be that measured approach that our PLT members are used to doing. And it was more hard tact you're going to get arrested if you don't get out of here type thing.


  137. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. Dr. Collins is a forensic psychologist. He has worked with the OPP for many years, mainly in the tactical capacity, crisis negotiator capacity. I've used him when I was in our homicide unit if I was going to interrogate a person that was to have known mental health problems. I would speak to Dr. Collins to get his perspective on how best to approach a person that may be suffering whatever ailment they were suffering. But he mainly works with the crisis negotiator side of our organization. I understood at some point he was brought into this operation, and he was made aware of this incident. And he wasn't on video. I think he was on a telephone. I didn't see his face anyways on the video call. And those were the comments he gave about the impact this was going to have on the program and on the members that are in the program.


  138. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No. I have trained PLT investigators that are getting calls from their contacts in the convoy saying, "We're not going to talk to you again. This just happened. Why would we ever trust you again?" So it was clear that as much as Superintendent Patterson may have hoped that there was a disconnection and then the members couldn't make that connection, that connection was made right away.


  139. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    He was expecting all officers, regardless of who they work for, to effect mischief arrests for members who were believed to be carrying gasoline. That's what he was looking for.


  140. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, it was the larger issue.


  141. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There's not.


  142. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    When he says all policing partners, I got to believe he means all policing partners and that's who was there.


  143. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We never left, no.


  144. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. Chief Sloly was looking for action, what's happening, what are you doing, certain type of action, so he detailed, number one, he wanted to do a dynamic arrest and takedown at Rideau and Sussex. They planned to do that the following day, but because of lack of assets, they postponed it to possibly Wednesday. And they were going to have a call tomorrow at nine o'clock that myself and Superintendent Alakas were invited on, and it was advised that they will work through the top convoy organizers and influencers, and they will pick a few, and there will be planned arrests and extractions tomorrow of those persons. And they wanted PLT engaged in that along with POU teams.


  145. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I had a view on both, yes. I didn't agree with either, for various reasons. And I didn't see a plan for dynamic arrests that were supposed to happen within the next couple days. There was no -- nothing I could read to how they planned to use the POU, what time of day they planned to do it. I hadn't seen what intelligence or PLT work they'd done on that intersection to understand who was there. I had no understanding of how they planned to get rid of the trucks. There was just a total lack of information on that call anyways, so I couldn't support that. And then basically, what he's describing in number two are snatch and grabs off the street, which we're normally not associated with. And again, he doesn't speak about time of day. And again, he speaks about involving PLT in them. How are PLT engaged in snatch and grabs? From my experience, that's not what OPP PLT are involved in. So I certainly right away had concerns for both of those.


  146. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was the struggle. All I can see is he said they want PLT engaged. In what aspect or how was unknown. He didn't go into those details on the call.


  147. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I had heard, because I had heard that our POU Unit had been engaged as part of this Coventry Road exercise. So I contacted Insp. Dave Springer to say, like, “What are we doing there?” He said, “We’re just here to protect PLT. We’re not engaged with the gasoline. We’re just making sure nobody gets hurt.” And in our conversation, I had understood that even some of the Ottawa Police detectives were uncertain about their legal authorities to do what they were doing. Could they seize the trucks? Could they seize the gas? Could they lay the charges? So I wanted to talk further with Supt. Patterson to say, “Where are you getting this authority? I’m assuming you’ve consulted the Crown Attorney. What has the Crown Attorney told you about this? What was the Crown Attorney told you about your authorities? Do you have a Crown opinion letter that I could have? Because until and if I see that letter, I’m not directing my OPP members to be engaged in this type of activity, until I can be certain that the Crown Attorney supports it.” Once again, my role as strategic commander is to protect my people from -- their physical safety, but also their civil liability. I don’t want them involved in illegal arrests. It’s a difficult thing to make the connection between gasoline and a criminal offence of mischief. So there may be a memo out there, which eventually there was, the Crown Attorney was able to explain that these types of offences, as long as you can articulate them correctly, can lead to charges. I had conversations with OPP senior command either the next day or two days later, once I got the letter. Once they saw it in that conversation, they said, “No, it’s okay. OPP members can participate in this type of activity.” So then I had to work my incident commanders to build a training package for my members to say, “Hey, here’s your authorities. Here’s how to approach it.” Even down to the basics about what do you do with the seized gas? You can’t throw it in the trunk of your car. Down to that level. But we had to create a system for our own members to understand and educate them.


  148. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m sorry, the planning for the POU?


  149. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  150. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  151. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No. I’m just trying to gather information.


  152. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  153. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  154. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It came near the end of the call. I believe the Chief had to leave, so it was more, “Okay, before I leave, this is what I want.” So his direction to his members was, “I need to know how many people we need to operate and control this event. And if you tell me, --” like, I don’t want to repeat the email, but that was what he was saying. And that was his rational for saying it. I was surprised only because I thought, “He knows I’m on the call. He knows I’m here. Is he -- he welcomed me on the call and we talked about PLT not leaving. So he knows I’m still here, but he’s talking about basically doubling the ask he’s going to ask from other police agencies in Ontario to support what’s happening in Ottawa with no plan.” I mean, there was no plan to plug these numbers into yet, but these were just random numbers. So I found that strange and I felt it was important for my Chief and Commissioner to be aware of it, because I knew that higher level meetings were happening with Chiefs around Ontario about how they could support Ottawa and I thought it was important for them to have in the back of their mind about what occurred that night.


  155. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, he left the call rather abruptly. He basically said, “This is my direction,” and then he left the call. And there was a bit of that awkward silence, like, you could tell the other people knew that “Abrams is on this call,” which was awkward. But we moved forward after that. There was no direct talk about this doubling of numbers. We never discussed it.


  156. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s essentially the conversations we were having all along with Deputy Bell, is where’s the plan? We need an operational plan. And Deputy Bell agreed, like, “Yeah, we know we need a plan. We’re working on a plan.” So really, the numbers were irrelevant. As we’ve spoken about, it’s about the plan first and the numbers can come later. It may be 1,800, as we’ve heard. It was actually more than that. But to ask for all these numbers without plan and explanation of what they will be used for seemed odd to me.


  157. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I thought it was the 8th only because I thought how could a team come up in under 24 hours when they were just told on the 7th to come up with a number, and all of a sudden the number is 1,800 the next day? How did they figure that out in under a day? So I may have my dates wrong, but I thought it was the 8th that the announcement came of the 1,800.


  158. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  159. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I viewed it with suspicion.


  160. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was invited on a call on the morning of the 8th with the Commissioner. Deputy Harkins was on the call, Supt. Matt Denal (Phonetic) and Chief Pardy. And the Commissioner announced that there was going to be an Integrated Planning Team that would attend Ottawa. He gave us a mission. Essentially the mission was to help the Ottawa Police restore trust and confidence in their service, obviously help them with planning to get themselves out of this situation that’s occurring in the City of Ottawa. Those were the essentially high-level expectations from this integrated planning team. The Ottawa Police would still be the police of jurisdiction. This wasn’t a situation where the OPP were coming to take over an incident. That experts would be drawn from other police services to come with Chief Pardy, subject matter experts in public order, major events, to help Ottawa police to come up with a plan to see this come to an end. I didn’t hear where this idea came from. I assumed it was from higher level meetings that Commissioner Carrique was a part of. But it was told to me because I was the lone senior officer on the ground up to that point, that I would be important to have beside Chief Pardy, to inform him of what had been occurring, because he was the regional commander in North Bay. He didn’t really have intimate details of what was happening in Ottawa. So that’s why I was placed on a team with him. And then he was given direction to come to Ottawa.


  161. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Only for a short period of time. I’d say 48 hours at the most. Once it was clear that larger plans were going to be put in place. And at that point, OPP was probably providing around 150 officers a day. We were kind of reaching our capacity in the command post we were in Kanata. And it was expected that a much larger number would likely come once Integrated Plan Team got their work together. And they were under a tight timeline. Like, they wanted to have a plan within 48 hours, if possible, to get this done. My time was better spent rotating back to coordinating the logistical challenges of getting all those members into Ottawa. So I helped Chief Pardy out for the first couple of days. Then once he was established with his subject matter experts, I rotated back to my role of overseeing a deployment of frontline officers to the City of Ottawa.


  162. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, it basically went 30, 60, 120, and then obviously, on weekends, we always had surge weekends because more people would come on a weekend, so we'd have to have more numbers for weekends. We'd bump up to 156, 160 on a weekend, and then back to 120 on a Monday or a Tuesday, just because there always was a surge of population on a weekend. We were around that number when Chief Pardy arrived.


  163. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct. And we're - - and because there were traffic points, they were easy to articulate and the reasons why they needed our people for help. They just -- they needed to restrict the flow of traffic into the downtown core and the traffic points just continued to grow and they were running out of Ottawa police officers to stick on those traffic points. So in a maintenance phase, you don't necessarily need a super detailed plan to help out on a maintenance phase. You're just essentially holding ground until a plan can be developed. So we were comfortable in deploying those members because they knew exactly what they were supposed to do, exactly what their role was, and I could articulate that to our members. So we were -- we felt safe and confident to bring them -- to tell them to do that.


  164. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So the first meeting was the evening of February 8th around the 5 o'clock mark. Chief Pardy had a scribe with them, and normally, my general rule of thumb is if there's a scribe in the room and they're taking notes, I won't take notes because they're religiously taking notes. So his scribe took the notes. We received a presentation from Acting Deputy Chief Ferguson about her concept of operation, that single sheet we saw early this morning with the points. Sorry. She displayed that to us and explained that to us. And then we had general discussions about how they felt about integrated team, and does she think it's as value, and just had those kinds of discussions about what was happening and how this integrated team could help them move forward.


  165. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Deputy Ferguson was very much in support of it. I think she'd explained Chief Sloly was supposed to be on the call, but he had an emergent issue he had to deal with that night, so he wasn't able to be on the call. There was some technical issues. Being at RCMP headquarters, everybody who wanted to be on the call could be on the call at that time. But we gained very good ground. We had good conversations. We requested -- Deputy Ferguson stated that they were just finishing up a larger concept of operational plan. It just wasn't quite ready yet. She indicated it'd be ready the next morning. So the plan was for her to come again and show us the more broader, expanded plan the following morning on the 9th.


  166. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, Chief Pardy called me early in the morning to say that he'd heard from Acting Deputy Ferguson that it wasn't quite ready yet. They were just finishing it up. And that they would prefer if we attended downtown Elgin Street around the lunch hour.


  167. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. It was in a boardroom on the second floor of police headquarters. Chief Sloly was present, and two deputies were present, a few inspectors. Superintendent Patterson was present. Counsel Huneault -- I apologize if I don't pronounce your name correctly. She was present. And there was myself, Chief Pardy, Inspector from York Regional Police. Tim's his first name. I apologize I can't remember his last name. Superintendent from the RCMP, Phil Lue, and Staff Sergeant Darwin Tetreault. And we all sat on one line on one table, Chief Sloly sat at a table, flanked by his deputies. They spoke -- Acting Deputy Chief Ferguson gave her presentation on the expanded concept of operations and what that looked like. After that presentation, Chief Sloly turned to me directly, which I was surprised because I just happened to be the first OPP in the line. Chief Pardy was next to me on my right. And in a clearly unhappy fashion expressed his unhappiness with the fact that the Solicitor General reported that there was 1500 OPP officers in his city when clearly there was not. And he was quite upset about that. I explained to him that I was the one who provided numbers. On the second of February I was asked by the SOLGEN's office to provide a document to show how many OPP members were in the City of Ottawa. Clearly, there was more than just frontline officers. We had Public Order officers, we had Intelligence officers, we had PLT members, we had Logistical officers, Traffic members. So my team created a chart, daily chart from the beginning to that period, 2nd of February, with rows and columns to fill in any POU and Traffic, and then the total for each day and then a total cumulative. I want to say the cumulative total at that point was 826, could be 862. It was around that number. And I stated that each day moving forward was going to average about 125 a day. And I submitted that to my Chief Superintendent, and I never saw the numbers again. So I explained to Chief Sloly that -- I didn't explain to Chief Sloly in that detail. I just said, "I'm the one who submitted the numbers. In my opinion, I think that a SOLGEN media staffer just maybe crafted a bad sentence. The intent was not to say there was 1500 literally that day. The intent was to say it was cumulative." Chief Sloly again became upset and basically said, "Don't explain the politics of the SOLGEN's office to me. I know that was done intentionally." And I just said, "I can't speak to that. I just provided the numbers." And we moved on.


  168. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was. So we were provided -- I want to say it was a three-page document by Superintendent Patterson that detailed kind of his daily plan. It was weekly. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and what he planned -- what they planned to do. They were dynamic actions primarily. And one of them was supposed to happen that evening at 11 o'clock. So he detailed that and basically just kind of left it there to say -- as if for us to say, okay. So sensing no one else in the room was speaking, I started to ask some direct questions to Superintendent Patterson to say, "What are you going to do with the trucks? What's your plan with the trucks?" He had two plans with the trucks. One plan was to use retired Ottawa police members to drive them out of there, indicated they'd been there for quite a period of time. Many of them had been chained and altered to kind of make it difficult to tow them. I'm not a diesel mechanic, but a lot of -- you probably need mechanic skills to get them started again. And he indicated, well, if that didn't work, I'd use the Canadian Armed Forces tow trucks to tow it. And I said, "Have you asked for an aid to the civil power from the federal government?" And Superintendent Patterson indicated that he didn't require that, it wasn't necessary. So then I asked, because I knew through those weeks, that week, I was getting regular phone calls from my PLTs, I've described about their frustrations of we're not being on the same page, no autonomy, no connection, I asked, "Has PLT been engaged in this plan, this takedown plan?" And Superintendent Patterson said they had. I knew they hadn't. So that concerned me. So I told them directly, I said, "I'm not a Public Order Unit Commander, but based on what I'm seeing and what I've just heard, you will never see OPP support on any operation tonight or tomorrow based on what I'm reading." Literally, it's two lines on a page to take down a whole intersection. There was no idea of -- no indication any way at that meeting is there children in the car? How many people are in each truck? That wasn't told to us. Essentially, they were looking for us to agree, and I wasn't comfortable. I had to ask the questions because it was dangerous for my members. That's what I’m being paid to do, protect our members and our organization. And it was at nighttime. Only in emergent extreme situations would we ever do Public Order exercises in the dark. We don't operate in the dark. It's too dangerous for our members. It's too dangerous for the public. So there were so many reasons why I could never support it. That's why I had to ask the direct questions I did.


  169. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Then we transitioned and Chief Pardy and RCMP members then piped in to basically say to Chief Sloly, "Maybe you should pump the brakes, and slow down a bit, and allow" -- this is Darwin Tetreault talking now -- allow -- he had coordination for a Public Order Unit in the RCMP. "I can get you bodies here to Ottawa, but it's going to take some time. Give me a week. We can get you 400 people here,” and that really seemed trigger Chief Sloly. He became very passionate, a raised voice again, and basically said that the head of hydra is in Ottawa and we needed to cut the head of the hydra off in Ottawa. Sorry, I’ll back up quickly. We also talked about the impacts around the country, that this isn’t just an isolated incident. We have Coutts, Alberta; we have Ambassador Bridge; there’s more events that happened. And I think Supt. Morris called it the “rubber band effect” or “elastic effect”; one event that happened in one part of the country has an immediate effect on another. When we tried to bring that to his attention, he didn’t want to hear that. His focus was on his city which, he’s the Chief of the City, I can’t say I blame him, but he was very passionate about he didn’t like to hear that. He didn’t like to hear about a delay and essentially said, “I want you to promise me that you will get 400 RCMP or POU members here or I will go the Minister.” He never named the minister; he just called -- just said “the Minister”.


  170. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Immediately after the meeting, Chief Sloly left the room rather quickly and Acting Deputy Ferguson, she was seated to my left, she grabbed my elbow and she just pulled me to the side and she thanked me for asking the questions I asked because they were almost the same or very similar questions that she had been asking all along and was not able to get answers for. And then a day later, I received a text message from Deputy Bell saying that he appreciated my direct questions and felt it helped move the issue along.


  171. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Essentially. I returned to the headquarters after that meeting. We debriefed the meeting and we talked about how dangerous what we’d just heard was, how we could never support what we heard, and how there was a need to start an integrative plan. But I’m not a Public Order SME so my role was to get back and deal with the hundreds of OPP officers that I had to deploy onto the street of non POU frontline members. Chief Vardy had the SMEs he needed and my job was to basically make what needed from his plan, from a frontline perspective, happen. So I moved to our command post and allowed him and his team to do the work they needed to do.


  172. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t recall speaking to Dana directly, no.


  173. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No. I recall sending messages of support to another NCIC, Insp. Needham, just about the good work they were doing on the Ambassador Bridge but I don’t recall ever having direct conversations with Supt. Earley.


  174. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Apparently even better than myself.


  175. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    In my original notes, on page 52, on the 10th of February, I just have her name, “Dana”, with a slash. I don’t have any information.


  176. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So clearly, we did connect at some point but I wasn’t able to detail what we discussed.


  177. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t say that I do.


  178. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m not saying she didn’t; I just can’t recall.


  179. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t know if heard it from Dana but I knew that there had been an agreement that the OPP was going to take over the operations in Windsor. I just can’t say that I heard that from Dana.


  180. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’ve got to assume so. It seems pretty detailed. I recall -- because the comment about “making things easier”, it certainly is a lot easier. As I discussed, we were kind of attached at the hip with Ottawa Police; we could only move as fast as they were willing to move forward as the police jurisdiction. If she was now in the situation in Windsor where she could essentially control the event, it made her job a lot easier to be able to just move forward without having to work with the police jurisdiction directly.


  181. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, it’s not a view I held because I was on the street. I visited my members on the street, and I talked to my members, and I talked to storeowners who described because they were wearing masks and the difficulties they were having in the businesses so I knew that there was impacts on businesses. Whether I had those meetings with business owners after this conversation or before, I can’t recall for sure but it’s not a position I espoused because there was clearly an affect on the residents in that area. I think I may have been commenting more -- because I talked to other members about this -- if you drove the 417 through Ottawa or used any streets south of the 417, you’d never know what was happening in Ottawa. Ottawa seemed to be functioning as per normal outside of that core area. So I may have been reflecting on my experience driving around the City of Ottawa kind of impeded with no real traffic problems generally south of the 417 but clearly lots of effects and impacts in the downtown core.


  182. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I never had conversations about priorities. It was more about, “We have this many members tied up in Windsor so we can only send you this many.” It wasn’t about making Windsor a priority over Ottawa that was ever communicated to me that I’m aware of.


  183. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  184. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It was my understanding, through reading Twitter accounts and media releases that Ottawa Police had indicated to the public that the red zone was created as a result of the Emergency Act, that the restriction of movement, the subsequent stoppage of vehicles to determine if they have lawful authority to be in that controlled area that they described was based on authorities obtained under the Emergency Act, yes.


  185. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We had talked prior because prior to this date on the 17th, our members were doing traffic enforcement and -- but more in an observation capacity, looking for criminality that may be obvious or vehicles that may look like they want to block a roadway. So we had a formal education package. The EMCPA was in authority at that period of time, so we educated them on the provincial EMCPA Act. That gave them some authorities. And we educated them on their normal Highway Traffic Act authorities, their normal Criminal Code authorities, about their ability to stop traffic, determine what they're doing, and the ability to turn them around and/or make arrests if they feel they have the reasonable grounds to do so. I did a lot of the briefings with the members to explain their authorities and I tried to explain in the simple terms as I could, just saying, "You're all police officers. You all understand your authorities to make arrests, and you all have -- you understand the concept of discretion. And these authorities are available to you here, just like they are back at your home detachments. Nothing has changed." So this is prior to the 17th. So they knew they had those abilities. If they saw something, they could act. They didn’t need the Emergency Act to do it. But then when the Emergency Act was invoked and there was restrictions placed and "headlines" is the wrong word -- but restrictions or regulations put in place about boundaries and certain street boundaries and entry into those boundaries, and that members of the public entering that area had to have three or four different excuses; is there a lawful purpose, a business owner, going to a hotel. So there's three or four different areas that they were allowed to. So my officers were then expected to essentially do that. So it turned from what was officers really observing traffic to once the Act was invoked, I went downtown to see what our members were dealing with, and it was essentially a 14-to-15-hour ride program. Members were out in horrible weather, standing on the roadside, checking vehicles, going through the list, "Where are you going, what are you doing, why are you travelling here, do you have a reason to go here?" and then turning around vehicles that may need to be turned around.


  186. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So it wasn’t necessarily an ask. So I was sitting in the command post. I saw our prime minister on the television revoke the Act, and I looked at my watch, and I knew I was less than an hour away from briefing 300, close to, officers that were going to go on the street that night. And I knew they were going to want to know what -- "What can we do, Boss?" essentially. They could see the TV as well as I could. So I had to really consider what are our lawful authorities to do that we're doing, minus the Act, Emergencies Act? So I looked at what we were doing prior, I looked at the common-law authorities to stop vehicles. It was a very restricted area. We had literally just cleared the streets almost less than 24 hours before. How could we ever just turn the streets back over again that we'd just secured less than 24 hours? We've got to have a presence and still maintain some presence of restriction in some capacity. So I tried to call Chief Pardy. He was my kind of commander and just to run it by him, just to make sure I was on the right track. Unfortunately, he was tied up. I think that announcement caught everybody by surprise, so the phones were ringing. So I appeared before them and that’s essentially what I explained to them. I said, "Use your discretion, but we're going to continue to stop vehicles until and as such time as I'm told that the lawful authorities doesn’t exist any more. The emergency has passed." And at the end of the day, the next morning, that’s what had happened. Our meetings were held and it was agreed there was no intelligence to indicate that convoy participants were going to return. Therefore, a common-law authority that we base our authorities on was -- didn’t exist any more. There was no emergent need, there's no intelligence to support us stopping vehicles, so the direction was made to now fall back to an observation mode again. On that first evening when I gave that direction, they continued to stop. We stopped 11 vehicles that were convoy related, according to my members, that wanted to get back into the zone that we just cleared. So I was glad that we continued it that evening. They gave lots of excuses. They wanted to pick up an old hockey net that was left behind, but who knows? Maybe that was accurate, maybe not. But the count was 11 vehicles that we turned aside, and after conversations the next day with Chief Pardy and council, they agreed the authority didn’t exist any more, so we went back to pre-Emergency Act and developed an observational posture.


  187. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    From an OPP's perspective or an Ottawa Police perspective?


  188. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I thought the OPP role in the initial convoy arrival on Ottawa went very smooth. We had minor issues in our smaller communities with members not obeying the mask mandates. We had some restaurants who just chose to ignore the mandates altogether, but overall, we had no assaults, we had no criminality. I wasn’t aware of any charges being laid. They said what they would do. They kept to one lane. They entered the City of Ottawa in an orderly fashion. We had minor issues with supporters on the roadside on the 417 getting kind of dangerously close to the side of the highway, which was a concern, but that wasn’t convoy -- the convoy participants couldn't control that. They did what they said they would do, and they didn’t damage any highways and they didn’t cause any criminality. So from that perspective, it was a success in getting them into the City of Ottawa, from an OPP. That was our mission, that was our goal for that period of time, to have the convoy come through OPP-policed areas without a blockage of a highway, without assaults or damage and injury to the public, and we were successful in all those areas.


  189. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'm not a subject-matter expert in public -- or I'm not a subject-matter expert in principles of Commander MCIC. If you're asking for my opinion, I'll give it to you, but I'm not a highly-trained public order manager. But certainly, if you could go by the intelligence and do an intelligence-led assessment of what was coming to your city, I think there was ways to block streets. I don't think you could ever stop them coming to the city at all. That was a foregone conclusion. They were coming to Ottawa. It would have been a matter of how can we lessen the impact to our city? Can we divert them to other areas of the city that have less impact? Can we divert them somewhere and then they go and they protest on foot as opposed to protesting in what is essentially a mobile house, once it's in one place it's hard to move? Monday morning quarterbacking is an easy thing. I don’t like to do that, but you asked me a question. I think that’s a way that perhaps, just like Toronto did, but Toronto admitted that they learned from the lessons of Ottawa and that’s why they blocked roads and were able to clear the Queen's Park area the way they did so effectively. So hindsight is always 20/20. So that’s my humble submission, but I'm not naïve enough to know that that is 5:49:01 with hindsight and knowledge that I would never had at the beginning.


  190. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  191. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Thank you, Commissioner.


  192. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, Commissioner. Thank you.


  193. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Good, sir. Thank you.


  194. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  195. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s what I believe, yes.


  196. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t recall stating that, but I think that I stated that they’re committed in their goal of attending Ottawa fairly because they left their homes, thousands of kilometres away and their intent was to attend Ottawa.


  197. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Obviously not being a member of the Ottawa Police Service, they dealt with the majority of those protests. In my role with the Provincial Police, I can’t say that I’ve had to deal with that type of event, but in general terms, I would agree when people exercise their Charter rights, there’s certainly going to be some disruption to members of the public while that’s being done. But, generally, in most circumstances, that disruption is short-lived, in my experience.


  198. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There certainly would be lots of planning, that’s what we talk about; pre-event planning, trying to speak to the organizers, come up to agreements to make sure everybody’s on the same page. I’ve not been involved in agreements where we’ve allowed protests that lasted multiple days. That’s just been my experience. I haven’t been involved in that so I can’t really speculate or experience, whether I would approve something like that.


  199. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As an organization we have, yes.


  200. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As an organization we have.


  201. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  202. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The longest period I was involved in was the three-week protest at the Tyendinaga rail blockades in 2020.


  203. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That sounds accurate, yes.


  204. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s what I recall, yes.


  205. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The only thing I would say is there was some reports of antisocial behaviour in respect to perhaps not abiding by mask mandates within the Province of Ontario, but outside of that, I would agree with your statement, yes.


  206. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  207. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. It’s a large city so wherever the trucks are going to park there’s going to be disruption wherever they tend to park, for sure.


  208. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    They very much are, yes.


  209. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  210. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. Many of the convoy organizers they connected when they arrived within the Province of Ontario.


  211. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. Many times our PLTs will message what you stated but also message the importance of understanding the law; sometimes they’ll educate them on the law, make sure they understand, you know, “When you attend, this is what the expectation is; this is what the laws will be in relation to your behaviour.” So many times the PLT will be part of that messaging to make sure that all participants are aware of their responsibilities and expectations of their behaviours.


  212. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would agree. Just through conversation, that allowed more structured movement of vehicles which made things ultimately safer. I would agree with that.


  213. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I became Strategic Commander in charge of the OPP’s portion of the event, which was what we saw at that time as a traffic event involving the vehicles travelling through our jurisdiction into the City of Ottawa.


  214. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  215. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It focussed on the traffic and also what impacts that they may have in the communities that they overnighted in.


  216. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  217. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  218. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  219. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  220. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Very much so. We agreed that our traffic inspectors would connect with each other and they would do the bulk of the work to do the coordination.


  221. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. Lisa Nicholas was her last name, but they helped coordinate, yes.


  222. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  223. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sounds accurate.


  224. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  225. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. I believe Staff Sergeant Nicholas, she kind of moved between the two locations. There was kind of a traffic hub that had MTO cameras that Staff Sergeant Nicholas would work with our MTO partners and Ottawa Police partners at, and she would also make her way over to the NCRCC as well. So she kind of worked at both locations.


  226. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    She did. Inspector Ferguson relied on some assistance from Staff Sergeant Nicholas, so she helped assist her in different ways.


  227. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  228. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. And we wanted -- obviously, and when we talk about safety, it's not just safety of the convoy participants, it's the safety of the motoring public who are using the highway. And we didn't close the highway, so the highway was open to normal traffic so we had to make sure that we were ensuring the safety of the general motoring public as well.


  229. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do recall that.


  230. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  231. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  232. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. And just so we're clear, I apologise if I misunderstood your question. The permanent shutdown that Chief Sloly spoke about in us selectively picking offramps for the convoy to come in were on separate dates.


  233. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. And certainly, we wanted to not disrupt the general motoring public as much -- as little as possible, that was the idea, so we would close ramps as needed and then as soon as we could we would reopen them so that the normal flow of traffic could continue.


  234. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure, it does.


  235. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would agree, yes.


  236. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  237. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I never received instructions like that, no.


  238. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  239. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  240. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do.


  241. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  242. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  243. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  244. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I just wanted to see if that was part of their plan, and I was advised that it was not.


  245. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  246. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  247. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did.


  248. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  249. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  250. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'm sorry, you said page 28?


  251. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  252. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, correct, I can see it now.


  253. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  254. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So if we go back, this is part of a teleconference I was involved in where Inspector Jason Younan is kind of giving us an overview of an email that was sent by Chief Sloly, and giving an overview of what he saw, and the context of what Chief Sloly's email had to say. And so these are Inspector Younan's words to me saying that there was Major Critical Incident Commander Superintendent Dunlop but no Major Incident Commander. No one was in charge. The Chief is in charge and will not change that. Wants lockdown. So these are Inspector Younan's words being relayed to me and me making notes ---


  255. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    This is Inspector Younan's interpretation of what he ---


  256. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  257. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So in Inspector Younan's briefing to us, he spoke about what Chief Sloly was asking not only of his members, but what appeared to be also partner agencies, which included the OPP. So there was talk about wanting all streets barricaded and contained, and these were activities I was not comfortable with our members being involved in, and it caused me a great concern. So on this call, I expressed that we needed to communicate with Commissioner Carrique, so that he could become aware of this direction by Chief Sloly through Chief Sloly's email, and then perhaps Commissioner Carrique and Chief Sloly could have a conversation because I felt that these were unreasonable demands, and I directed my Inspector Ferguson that if there was a request for OPP to be a part of any of this, it was not to happen. It was to come through myself before any OPP members would become engaged in the types of activity that I had heard about.


  258. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So further up in the notes at 15:43, I was speaking with Inspector Marcel Beaudin, who's our PLT Coordinator who the Commission will hear from as a witness. And he's describing his member's experiences on the ground in Ottawa and that inability to make decisions and be given autonomy to do their work. That's -- sorry, go ahead.


  259. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So that was very concerning for him and for his team because that's what they do. They're job is to get engaged with protesters, in this case it was convoy protesters, establish relationships, determine what their goals are, how can we facilitate and exit? What does an exit look like? All those activities, trying to obtain those win-win situations where it's a bit of a give and take amongst protesters and PLT to try to establish rapport and trust with each other, and they weren't able to do any of that. And I can only imagine, if that's your sole job and you're being prevented from being able to do that, that can be frustrating. So ---


  260. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- in my role as strategic commander, I was asked to see what I could do to deconflict that or resolve that because that was their concern. They weren't allowed to make decisions.


  261. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's what I was informed of, correct.


  262. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Very much so, yes.


  263. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    For the Ottawa Police, correct.


  264. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I understood that, yes.


  265. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    They do not use that method. I believe in my testimony yesterday I indicated that Major Critical Incident Commander Superintendent Patterson wanted to do snatch and grabs, and wanted PLT assistance with that, and that actually was one of my main concerns, because our PLT Units are not used in that fashion ever. So it actually is the opposite of your suggestion.


  266. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Oh, no, I can't confirm that. Those operations would have been done by Ottawa Police Service if they did them. My purpose in communicating to Superintendent Patterson was if him and his service wished to do that, there would be no OPP support in doing so. They may have occurred, but if they did occur, they would have been done by the Ottawa Police Service without OPP member participation.


  267. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's not how I see it. Snatch and grab is not a -- it's not a policing term, to be honest, that I'm familiar with as far as a technique that we're taught or instructed on. When I heard Superintendent Patterson explain that, he didn't explain it in great detail. I pictured it in my mind it was trying to locate certain individual persons who may have a reasonable grounds to be arrested and, essentially, when they're located, grab them off the street wherever they're located and arrest them under those authorities. That's how I viewed what snatch and grab was. I do not view it as a group activity. It was more an individual activity.


  268. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, I mean, the individual person may be a protester themselves, but I just -- I pictured an operation where officers are going out looking for one particular person or persons on a list, but not -- the persons aren't together in a group. And if an opportunity arose, they would affect an arrest of that singular person.


  269. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't speak to that because I wasn't connected with the Ottawa Police operations at that level.


  270. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe that's correct, through media. That was posted on Ottawa Police Twitter and media releases that were released by Ottawa Police where they spoke about the formation of this red zone.


  271. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So, yeah. Yes, but if I could expand on that answer a little bit to add some context to it, so the evening -- so the date was February 19th you're indicating?


  272. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    February ---


  273. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe the 17th was a Thursday; am I correct?


  274. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  275. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So the next date was a planned, large Public Order Unit deployment, which that was the first time we would have seen a large number of Public Order Unit members on the street. And my people's role, the people I was in control of, would be to be at traffic points to help contain and control any ground that Public Order Units were able to clear. And late that evening, I believe it was around 10 o'clock, 50 RCMP members attended our OPP Command Post indicating that they were reporting to our location starting the next morning, along with Ottawa Police. And that was concerning to me only because I was already deploying close to 5 to 600 of my own members, and if we added Ottawa Police and RCMP, that would be 900 members, and we would not physically be able to get that many members onto the street in time to support the operation that was planned for the next day.


  276. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There would not have been sufficient time to brief them and get them on the ground, so that's why that evening, as a team, I gathered my Incident Commander, Ottawa Police Service supervisors were on our Command Post helping us with telecommunications, and I gathered them in a group and we all said we have to solve this problem, because we're literally hours away from a major operation. So collaboratively and together, we all agreed on a solution, so that we did not have to deal with that issue the next morning, and we were able to get officers deployed in a reasonable amount of time.


  277. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was never aware of what the Public Order Unit operation name was. I just knew that there was a Public Order operation happening the next morning, but I wasn't familiar with the name of it.


  278. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe that applies to all serving police officers in the province of Ontario, so it would apply to Public Order Unit members as well.


  279. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would not be able to confirm that because I don't have that information. And if I could qualify my answer, there is a provision that allows the Associated Arms Office to provide an extension to that 12 months, whether it be due to an emergency. Best example I can give you, in this case, when the Public Order process started, we had a large influx of OPP members come to the City of Ottawa. I had an additional almost over 400 officers come to the city. To be able to get that many members to the city, we had to do some logistical operations within our organization, and one of those was to cancel block training, which is annual training for members on use of force and firearm requalification. So in doing so, some of those members may have gone outside the 12 months. We needed to seek approval to allow them to maybe be beyond the 12-month period, but that is allowed within the Police Service Act with the proper authorities.


  280. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'm sorry, after it was invoked what was my role?


  281. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, my role was as the Strategic Commander. So I oversaw a team of officers that were led by an Incident Commander, who their job was to organize the logistics of finding out where Ottawa Police needed us because we were a support agency to the Ottawa Police, and then my Incident Commander and his team would provide Ottawa Police with the support that they needed under -- with me with frontline officers. So Public Order Unit Command and what they needed for Public Order Unit was separate from myself and I didn't have direction or control over our Public Unit ---


  282. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- members.


  283. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  284. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did.


  285. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Only for -- I believe I said yesterday, only for about 48 hours, just in the initial stages when the Integrated Planning Team got started and we had our initial meetings on the 8th and the 9th, and that was the only time I had direct contact with the members of that planning team, and I reverted back to my role of managing our OPP members and our deployments in support of Ottawa Police.


  286. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was not aware of what PLT was doing. I know PLT eventually had a seat in the NCRCC with our Critical Incident Commander, so there was always -- I believe it was a PLT Sergeant that sat beside our Critical Incident Commander. But I'm not aware exactly of what they were doing in the field because that would not have been reported to me.


  287. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's what was reported to me. Correct.


  288. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't say that I heard of a lack of integration within our Public Order Units. That wasn't reported to me.


  289. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Within the PLT teams, there was still issues. I would have calls with Inspector Beaudin and he would say some days they were making forward progress and other days they still lacked an ability to understand what the plan was. Because until the Integrated Planning Team came up with a plan, there was still no plan. So they still struggled to determine what their purpose was, were they truly integrated team between the Ottawa Police Service PLT team and the OPP PLT team. There were still those issues, yes.


  290. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don't know if they any worsened. I think the maintained and became -- they were similar, but I don't know that they became any worse.


  291. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. The information that PLT is able to provide and tell us about conversations they're having with convoy organizers, and plans or what the intent of the organizers are is very important in forming operational plans of how we're going to approach a protest. So being unable to get that information has an impact, yes, in a negative way.


  292. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, I consider it one giant operation and the lack of communication had impacts all along, from invocation period, prior to and during.


  293. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t say it got worse. It just seemed to be a similar theme throughout my time as strategic commander is I continued to hear the lack of communication, the lack of integration. That was a common theme. It didn’t seem to increase through one day or the other, whether prior to February 14th or after. It seemed to be a similar theme throughout.


  294. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I recall that name being used. Just it was a phrase meant to maintain and hold ground that public org members were able to clear streets, intersections, those types of things.


  295. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can only speak to the OPP. There is a use of force reporting requirement. I apologize. I’m not certain on the timelines of when it shall be done, whether it’s at the end of their shift or within a certain number of days. I’d have to review the legislation, so unfortunately, I can’t give you the exact answer on that. But I tried to follow all what you were speaking about, but from what I heard you say, it seems to check all the boxes that are related to our members when they have to fill out use of force reports. And all the occasions you mentioned, from what I recall hearing, fit those needs to have a use of force report submitted.


  296. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m not aware.


  297. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Parts of his testimony, yes.


  298. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t disagree with many of the things that Superintendent Morris said. It was his testimony and was consistent with our organizational values and his public -- Provincial Intelligence Bureau mandates.


  299. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Thank you.


  300. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Good morning.


  301. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  302. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  303. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. Flammable products.


  304. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. It was.


  305. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was our concern, yes.


  306. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  307. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As I understand it, yes.


  308. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That seems accurate, yeah.


  309. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That seems accurate, yes.


  310. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was -- that was what they felt a worst-case scenario would look like. They were certainly hoping it wouldn’t take that many days, but that was their concern.


  311. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Are people more -- are some people more reasonable to reason with than others? Is that what you’re saying?


  312. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would say that’s an accurate statement, yes.


  313. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do.


  314. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s how it appears.


  315. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct, yes. That’s correct.


  316. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, certainly harder to resolve and would involve more time in trying to adjust their -- you know, trying to measure their expectations, perhaps.


  317. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, it certainly gives you a very quick understanding of are we going to be able to have some type of back-and-forth reasoning or whether we’re just never going to be able to come to an agreement.


  318. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s fair. I’m not from the City of Ottawa, so I’ll have to take your word for that, but it seems accurate.


  319. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure, sounds reasonable.


  320. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I call.


  321. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Like I said, I don’t recall the details of our conversation. I think the notes that were presented yesterday were scribe notes, so she had a scribe attached to her, so was writing down what we were conversing about. I didn’t have a scribe during this event, so I’m trying to use my independent recollection about the details of that conversation.


  322. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t say ---


  323. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  324. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. I believe, from my recollection, we were speaking about the Ambassador Bridge being blocked and how it was -- if you’re familiar with Windsor, it’s the one way into Windsor and if it’s blocked, it makes travel difficult within the whole city. And I recall having a conversation just about the economic impacts of that international bridge blockade and those kinds of things, and then I recall relating back to her how the blockade here in Ottawa was affecting the city as a whole, not just the downtown core.


  325. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  326. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't speak to Coventry Road because it's on the -- I believe it's on the north side of 417, but I was speaking more about, you know, areas south of the 417 and the 417 itself.


  327. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  328. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe it was the one that had the large Canadian flag that was extended with a flag on the end of it?


  329. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I recall seeing visuals of that, yes.


  330. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would agree with that statement, yes.


  331. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah -- yes, there was fuel in that area.


  332. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  333. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That seemed to be the case, and -- yes.


  334. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't speculate on the political context.


  335. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would agree -- yes, I would agree.


  336. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It's not something certainly not at my level.


  337. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It would not be inappropriate?


  338. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Appropriate. I've -- at my level it's not something I've ever been engaged with. At a Commissioner level, a Chief level, I can't speculate, I've never held those ranks, so I'm not sure what is appropriate or not applicant for a Chief of Police or a Commissioner to communicate with a politician.


  339. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It would concern me because of the operational impacts of somebody who's unknown to me having impacts on an operation we're trying to resolve.


  340. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'm sorry, what do you mean by "visibility"?


  341. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Apologies, I'll have to get you to repeat the question again. I don't know that I understand the context.


  342. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  343. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, and from past experience in resolving blockades and prior to the Emergency Act.


  344. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I agree. All those activities have linkages and have impacts to each other.


  345. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Perhaps, I can't be certain.


  346. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do see it.


  347. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Okay. It seems to be that's the topic of the memo, yes.


  348. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It seems to be. I was not involved in that part of the Operations on that.


  349. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I see that.


  350. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  351. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's -- that seems to be what it says, yes.


  352. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Because I wasn't involved in the Integrated Planning Group or seeing reports from PLT, I can't say whether it had a positive impact in members or people, protesters choosing to leave or not leave. Just because of my role at that period of time, I was insulated and focussed on just deploying my members in support of the Ottawa Police Service, so I wasn't getting reports on, you know, how many protesters are choosing to leave or the success or non-success of items like this.


  353. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I mean, this is exactly kind of what I spoke about. This is one of those communication mediums that PLT uses to communicate with protesters so that they understand, because some may not understand that they're committing an offence, and this may be the consequences if you don't -- sometimes there's timelines put on them, sometimes there is not, but this is classic PLT communication process, yes.


  354. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    In my experience, it has been very effective, and -- because it's -- it follows the measured approach, it follows the framework, it makes sure that anybody involved in the protests clearly understands jeopardy, understands police timelines in relation to what we plan to do, we're open, we're being honest, and so there's no misunderstanding or miscommunication about what may be occurring into the future.


  355. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was bodily injury to participants from my side. I saw some people -- there was some injuries to people. I understand the SIU became engaged in some injuries, so there was injuries to participants that I'm aware of, and that's just me seeing the media. Those weren't things that were reported to me through a chain of command or anything like that.


  356. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m not aware of any deaths. I have to say that I saw serious bodily injury, because if you look at the definition and mandate of the Special Investigations Unit of Ontario, they only become involved when there’s serious bodily injury. So because they were engaged in one incident, I’d have to say that serious bodily injury within that definition occurred in that situation.


  357. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  358. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Along with our partners. It wasn’t really OPP’s job to resolve the situation.


  359. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, to try to help to resolve, yes.


  360. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  361. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The situation had been resolved, but more so, there was no police intelligence to indicate that the convoy or participants were going to reattend and continue to commit the offences that they were committing. So therefore we needed to fall back.


  362. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, sir.


  363. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m not -- I was away from the workplace prior to, so I’m not sure when one truck may have arrived in the city. The majority of the trucks were planned to arrive at the end of that week. So I can’t state what trucks were in town on the 24th of January.


  364. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I apologize.


  365. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was going the other way in the calendar.


  366. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  367. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  368. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, Supt. Morris, I was part of conversations where he would inform us of the most current intelligence, what was occurring ---


  369. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  370. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sounds accurate.


  371. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m assuming I did. I ---


  372. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- can’t recall.


  373. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  374. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    My notes?


  375. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’ve looked at my notes many times, yes.


  376. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  377. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  378. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. I’m just -- when I look at the dates, I think the dates are indicative of arrival date, as opposed to event dates.


  379. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And just to add context, I’m not saying that the OPP will slow down traffic. The convoy organizers have stated that they will slow traffic, but not block it.


  380. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We didn’t want to do any escorting. So there was no OPP vehicles necessarily, you know, in front and back and follow us. It was more monitoring.


  381. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t be 100 percent whether they did or not. We would not. But emergency lights activated or not, that deep into an operational plan, ---


  382. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- that would be left to the officer’s discretion ---


  383. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- of how they feel they need to do it on the side of the road.


  384. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  385. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  386. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can’t articulate a number.


  387. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I’m trying to ---


  388. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m trying to recall the operational plan, if it listed the traffic units. But I would say at least 15 to 20 units would be a fair number, yes.


  389. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  390. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    “to come over possibly.”


  391. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  392. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, I didn’t speak with him that day. I just -- I knew that his role and what he was doing was he was engaging with police partners outside of Ontario so that we could have a picture of what was coming across Canada from west to east.


  393. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  394. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    An operational plan, yes.


  395. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, many other regions had similar plans and they were tracking the movements in a similar fashion.


  396. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And so we had to create our plan obviously just for our geographic area.


  397. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It wasn’t our operations centre. I put Insp. Ferguson in the NCRCC. S/Sgt. Nicholas between kind of a traffic building that OPS had in the NCRCC and I had my Emergency Operations Centre at our East Region headquarters in Smiths Falls.


  398. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was in Smiths Falls.


  399. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I had assigned an Incident Commander Scott Semple.


  400. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  401. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  402. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Southwest 40 minutes.


  403. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That is correct.


  404. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I wouldn't agree with that. I would say that my plan was based on my conversations through Intersect calls with Ottawa Police, who indicated they were planning for that level of event; therefore, so was I.


  405. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly not, because ---


  406. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- as we saw and as I explained in my evidence before is we expected a traffic event that was going to end downtown in the City of Ottawa. So we did not plan based on intelligence, based on Hendon, based on any other information source that we expected vehicles or protesters to clog up provincial highways, which we were responsible for, or communities for more than an evening, and we expected them to be lawful in that one evening. So all of those parts indicated for the OPP's perspective a very quick event, essentially, a one-day trip from different areas of the city into the downtown core and that would end the OPP's involvement in the movement of those vehicles.


  407. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  408. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The numbers were uncertain. Ottawa Police indicated that they thought they could handle 3,000. Hendon and other reports as we've seen didn't specifically exactly say X number of vehicles. But I was satisfied based on my calls with Ottawa Police that they felt they could handle that number of vehicles.


  409. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No. Indicators were just the vehicles that crossed from the west that was in the 800 range and they may ---


  410. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- pick up some as they move south but ---


  411. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was no -- we didn't know what the exit plan was, so we always had to be ready and available to write what that exit plan was. So that was an unknown to us as to would they exit on mass, would they exit slowly. That was uncertain.


  412. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, we felt we could manage as a mass entry is not much different than a mass exit.


  413. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. Because as you noted in my notes, once it looked like it was going to be prolonged, I had to have meetings with my command team to say let's plan for an extended event.


  414. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  415. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Position as in not planned for an extended event?


  416. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It seemed to be.


  417. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly, in my conversations with Deputy Bell on the 31st, I believe it was, was the first time that he indicated that he felt this was going to be a protracted event and they were planning for what could be a 4-week event.


  418. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, they sent -- yes, for sure, they ---


  419. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, so I can explain the structure ---


  420. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I need to explain because it wasn't my direction. That's why I need to explain.


  421. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did not direct those resources. As a Strategic Commander, I did not direct Public Order Unit operations. I did not direct where they went. They reported to me to tell me what they were doing, but that happened through our Field Support Bureau. So in your question, I did not direct that.


  422. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That is correct.


  423. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  424. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    At the very beginning, I reached out to say, "Look, we have 18 members right now that we could pull from local detachments." And it started from there and it continued -- every day ---


  425. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- it continued to rise from there.


  426. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I didn't know that until I heard that directly from their own Deputy Chief.


  427. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I had made assumptions that I felt that they had come up with a plan to address many different options that may have occurred.


  428. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, and I learned that through those calls.


  429. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I ---


  430. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- I had to be told that because I ---


  431. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- couldn't assume. I knew they have I believe it's 1200 or 1400, they have many members, and at that early stage, it was hard to know whether that many members could contain what was happening in those first day or two or not.


  432. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I needed to hear that from them because I wasn't on the ground ---


  433. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- to see what they were dealing with.


  434. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  435. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  436. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'd have to check my notes, but it was on a Saturday or Sunday, yes.


  437. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  438. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  439. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don't recall that. When I talked to Deputy Bell, he said his immediate need was for traffic control. He needed officers to be able to relieve his officers from downtown doing traffic, so we were able to provide those bodies. We started with 30 a day, and I was able to provide those bodies within my own region in short order. I never ---


  440. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- there was never delay.


  441. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    He needed more after that, because he had indicated that it would probably come to 60. When the formal letter would come from Chief Sloly or the Commissioner Carrique, Deputy Chief Bell indicated to me that he felt it would probably be around the 60 number that they would be asking from the OPP from frontline, and then there would be Public Order section requests and PLT requests as well.


  442. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe I was able to give them when they needed them.


  443. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. In the early days I was able to contain it within my own region. I believe on my other evidence I described we have a Regional Deployment Plan for emergencies such as this, and we know how many officers are at each of our 16 detachments; we know who’s working each day, and in an emergency we know how many officers we can ask to leave that area to attend whatever the emergency happens to be. So relied on that Emergency Regional Deployment Plan to gather those resources of 30 a day to assist Ottawa. Once, you know, a couple of days goes by and I’m aware that there’s going to be an increased asked of 60, then, yes, I need to call our emergency, or Operations Centre, which is based out of Orillia at our General Headquarters, which falls under our Field Support Bureau, to then gather provincial resources to assist because, yes, regionally I wouldn’t be able to ---


  444. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Once again I’d have to refer to my notes but within probably three days to four days of the 30 a day when it was clear -- when the letter came in from Chief Sloly asking for 60, I had to make the phone call through our EOC to say, “Okay, I need your help to gather resources to come to East Region.”


  445. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I could only rely on what Ottawa Police said they needed from me.


  446. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As other days went on, that would be communicated to me, say, “Can you give us more?” And we would be able to tell them, “Yeah, we can probably give you this many more or this many more.”


  447. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not to this scale.


  448. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I ---


  449. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As it was explained to me, this was the largest unplanned deployment of OPP resources in our history.


  450. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not in my experience, correct.


  451. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. I recall that was a video call, yes.


  452. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, it seemed odd to me, yes.


  453. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And I addressed this in my Will State, it’s because in the meeting they were discussing Ottawa Police business. I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to make notes on Ottawa Police operations, so I purposely did not note ---


  454. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I have. In that -- in that situation, I purposely chose not to ---


  455. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- takes notes because it seemed inappropriate for me ---


  456. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- because they were talking about internal Ottawa Police operation matters that I didn’t -- my purpose to be on the call was to talk about PLT.


  457. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I questioned where the number could have come from in that short period of time.


  458. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I never communicated with Chief Sloly on that.


  459. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And I never would deny resources. I communicated that to my command, as we spoke about in my testimony to the Commissioner, to say this is what I’d heard. While you’re trying to address operational requests from the Ottawa Police Service, I thought it was important for him and the Deputy Commissioner to know that this statement was made ---


  460. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- that day.


  461. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    What I was doing was protecting the members of the OPP.


  462. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And not ---


  463. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Can I finish?


  464. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Because of a large request like that, it was important for me to communicate to my senior command that, (a), perhaps they’re not truly needed based on what I heard, and (b), since we have no operational plan yet, to send that number of officers into a situation with no real plan on what to do with them was a concern, so that’s why I felt it was important to communicate that to my command about that.


  465. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I think it was helping everybody to have the proper knowledge before they made decisions to deploy resources.


  466. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, we’ve heard those numbers here.


  467. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It seemed to me as a number pulled from a hat in that short period of time.


  468. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  469. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Because there was no plan.


  470. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And so I can’t accept that.


  471. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    From my experience, as we’ve talked about, we build a plan first and then we add members to it after. The fact that the numbers fit the integrated planning team’s plan, I don’t know that that connects to the work that his team did within those 24 hours.


  472. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The integrated plan?


  473. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    On February 9th when I attended the meeting downtown with the integrated planning team, that’s the first time I was presented with the three-page document that showed the numbers that they were requesting.


  474. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I never indicated in any of my communications that I felt it was an overestimate. I just wanted our senior command to know that when Ottawa Police were trying to determine how many people they needed, this is the direction that their Chief gave them.


  475. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s all -- I did not opine on whether I felt it was adequate or inadequate. I never said that.


  476. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I only said that there was -- suspicious how they could come up with a number like that, and certainly the suggestion that that number would be doubled.


  477. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did.


  478. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did not do that, no.


  479. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The deployment ---


  480. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We’re talking about two separate events here, sir.


  481. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So the video call when I met with Chief Sloly, and he talked about having his team go away. That date was February -- you’ll have to help me, counsellor, on the date that video call happened. You just mentioned the date the call ---


  482. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Irregardless [sic] of the date ---


  483. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So February 2nd, I received an email requesting we have in the OPP a representative within the government buildings in Toronto, and they’re liaison between government and the OPP. And I received an email from that unit saying that the Solicitor-General wanted the number of OPP members that have been in Ottawa since the beginning of the event. So I asked my team to create a chart which indicated the numbers from the beginning of the event until the 2nd of February, and I described what that chart looked like yesterday. It include numbers of logistical people, EOC members, frontline members, Public Unit Order members. And I emailed that to my Chief Superintendent, and since we’re a paramilitary organization, we follow the chain of command. And then I assume from that point on those numbers that I obtained were moved up to higher levels.


  484. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I became aware of that later. I wasn't aware of it at the time.


  485. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't say that.


  486. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    In a day. Chief Sloly, in his concerns to me when we had our meeting, was he felt that that media release indicated that there was 1,500 OPP officers in his streets, in his town that day.


  487. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As I stated to Chief Sloly, I presented the daily numbers with a roll up of the total numbers. How those numbers were used or controlled after that was beyond my control.


  488. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I -- it was not within my purview to reach out to the Solicitor General.


  489. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I did not.


  490. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, I did not, that ---


  491. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- meeting was the first time.


  492. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I only saw the live portion when I was sititing in the Command Post and I saw him and Deputy Bell doing the news conference.


  493. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. I recall hearing that and then reacting immediately ---


  494. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- because I connected with the Deputy immediately.


  495. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's what I heard, and -- so that would naturally precipitate a call to confirm what I heard. Maybe I misheard, that's why I needed to reach out to Deputy Bell to say, "Did I hear this correctly?"


  496. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I needed to understand.


  497. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah. My concern was more about the offramps. The bridges were within the City of Ottawa, so I wasn't concerned about the bridges. My main concern was about what I heard about offramps.


  498. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It's not the same thing for me as far as my concern and my operations because my operations didn't concern bridges.


  499. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I heard it very clearly that there was a plan to close offramps, and that's what precipitated my call to Deputy Bell.


  500. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would disagree with that. I felt that at the end much of their work allowed some of the convoy protesters to leave voluntarily.


  501. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Well, certainly the protest was still ongoing when public order had to do what they did.


  502. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I wasn't aware of the particulars of that because PLT didn't report to me. What I was engaged in was solely on the deconfliction end of it, to say that, "This happened, this miscommunication happened within the Ottawa Police Service, and could you help us?"


  503. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  504. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't speak to what the idea was ---


  505. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- or what the plan was because ---


  506. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- I didn't ---


  507. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct, because our teams were intended to integrate and they didn't report to me.


  508. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was not involved in any of the Windsor. I would not have any information on Windsor or ---


  509. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- our plans in Windsor.


  510. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Right. In a province the size of Ontario, there is various priorities that have to be decided on how we staff them.


  511. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe that's what we saw, yes.


  512. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Good morning.


  513. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  514. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  515. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, 3rd of February, yes.


  516. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do.


  517. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'll correct you quickly. My Grade 4 teacher would still not be happy with me, my penmanship is not the best. It's, "There's no real plan forthcoming".


  518. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, that's coming from Superintendent Alakas to me.


  519. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  520. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  521. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, that's what I understand.


  522. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  523. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's what was communicated to me, yes.


  524. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was not aware of that.


  525. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was not aware of that, no.


  526. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not at the time. I can indicate that I received messaging from our PLT members to indicate that they were frustrated by the involvement of municipal leaders and how it was impacting their work, but I was not aware of the exact times these were occurring.


  527. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Right. Outside of what may have been reported in public media I wasn't aware of what was happening.


  528. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, I would not have been involved in that or aware of that.


  529. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct.


  530. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Now I’m aware, yes.


  531. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s correct.


  532. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    She was. She was essentially performing my role, but in ---


  533. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  534. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, I didn’t have an independent recollection of that conversation though.


  535. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  536. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do, yeah.


  537. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s correct.


  538. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    At 12:10, I believe.


  539. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I believe it started at 12:10.


  540. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  541. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s fair.


  542. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And sorry, incorrect. I believe it was S/Sgt or Sgt. Darwin Tetreault who was saying that?


  543. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Not to Phil Lou. The statement is as you claim, but I believe it was made by Darwin Tetreault, not Phil Lou.


  544. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    He is.


  545. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And he has a Public Order component in his work.


  546. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s correct, yeah.


  547. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s fair.


  548. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. And I ---


  549. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- believe S/Sgt. Tetreault believed that as well. He just indicated, “Let’s start there, and then we’ll work with our Public Order partners across the country to try to gather more.”


  550. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  551. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  552. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sheets, yeah.


  553. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, based in Orillia.


  554. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    We use that term a lot. So every region had an Emergency Operations Centre. So in this case, she’s talking about Orillia, because we were both using Orillia to help facilitate logistics, to obtain resources for both our operations.


  555. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  556. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, I -- yes. I thought -- I would assume she did, but.


  557. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    And I have no confirmation of that.


  558. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Just assuming it was. But I could be mistaken.


  559. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do.


  560. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  561. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    He’s the deputy in charge of Field Operations.


  562. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s what that ---


  563. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  564. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  565. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, I don’t recall making that statement.


  566. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  567. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, I don’t recall, because on that day, literally that day, the 10th, I spoke with Chief Pardy and we made resource requests and an extra 120 officers were coming to Ottawa by the Monday. So that’s why I’m confused by the talk about resource allocations, because I asked and we required another 120 and it was approved, and it just -- obviously to get people across the province into Ottawa was going to take us a couple of days. We planned to have an extra 120 officers in Ottawa by that Monday.


  568. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was never told that. I’m not denying that statement was made, but when we had discussions, she told me that the Deputy told her that Windsor was a priority. So I’m saying, “Okay. If you’re telling me that the Deputy told you Winsor is a priority, then okay.” But that information, from what I’m seeing, is the Deputy, Deputy Harkins, I’m assuming, was telling her. I didn’t tell her that.


  569. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Right. I accept based on the notes. I don’t have an independent recollection of our ---


  570. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  571. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I really don’t. I’m trying, but so many calls over so many weeks. I can’t say that I recall this one specifically.


  572. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Four seventeen (417), Commissioner.


  573. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. It would have -- you know, based on what I’m reading and trying to recall, we would have had general conversations about what she was dealing with, and what I was dealing with, and what it looked like in her area, and what it looked like in my area, and we would have had conversations about the impacts to the City of Windsor overall, because of the location of the Ambassador Bridge and those types of things. So I believe that’s the context of where this comes from.


  574. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was ---


  575. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That was just my personal experience in the times I had to be able to do that drive. I’m sure there were days due to traffic backups that there was difficulty in some areas of the city. I’m just stating in general terms from my own experience, I didn’t see a massive impact outside of that core area, traffic wise.


  576. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Lane reductions, for sure. Full closures, I believe they were kind of rotating depending on days because I recall there was impacts with nursing staff that were trying to get from Gatineau to the hospitals in Ottawa so there had to be some give and take to open up some lanes so people could get to work.


  577. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s what I recall.


  578. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I only ---


  579. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t. I only recall that some leaders of the hospitals had indicated that their staff were unable to get to work on time, which had obviously operational impacts for their agencies, and there was a request -- not controlled by the OPP, but there was a request whoever was controlling the bridges on either side that they could make some accommodations for that.


  580. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There may have been apartment buildings on them, as I’m -- when you say residential, I’m picturing suburban, but there may be urban apartments that were on those side streets, certainly.


  581. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m sure they were, yes.


  582. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was lots of honking, yes.


  583. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I heard it personally myself in my own visits to store owners that told me directly.


  584. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I couldn’t comment. I wasn’t involved and I don’t recall.


  585. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It was smaller in number of trucks, certainly. Yes.


  586. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, I think we talked about what her blockade was doing in relation to mine, similar to, really, in my experiences to the rail blockades in Tyendinaga and the economic impacts rail blockade has. It was very similar in circumstance.


  587. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  588. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’m not aware at all, no.


  589. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That would be the first time I heard that number, but based on the time I’ve spent downtown and the number of buildings I’ve seen, it certainly seems like an accurate number.


  590. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. And when it came to that, I mean, I -- how many people were required or the impacts, I either rely on my partners at the Ottawa Police Service to indicate to me what was happening down there, what impacts were happening and what they needed to address those impacts.


  591. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sure. I saw them myself personally, as I said, in my own visits to business owners and saw many businesses were closed.


  592. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. I live an hour from the city. I have family and friends who were directly impacted and talked about having to relocate because of the honking, because of the noise, so yes, I was aware.


  593. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  594. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly. I believe there was an actual arson-type incident not linked to the convoy, I guess, specifically, but we saw that it clearly could be something that could happen. So yeah, it was a valid concern of the residents, for sure.


  595. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It certainly was a challenge to prevent the flow of gasoline.


  596. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I know my officers made attempts at times, but the times they’d get swarmed by other members, they’d have to pull back. So there was attempts made at certain times to do so, but it was difficult.


  597. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It was -- yeah. It was difficult.


  598. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I wouldn’t say it was impossible. Our members tried and I believe some gas was seized. I can’t be for certain about my membership because I told my members -- because my members were normally in two- person units, so it was highly dangerous to their safety to try to get involved ---


  599. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- with multiple people carrying jerry cans when there’s just two of them.


  600. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So from an OPP perspective, I can say that yeah, we did not engage in trying to interdict gasoline simply because we were outnumbered with our numbers as they were.


  601. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Oh, certainly. My officers were subjected not only to threats of physical assault, but yelling. I had to get my public order unit teams hearing protection because it was starting to damage their hearing because they spent so much time downtown.


  602. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Horns, yes. Diesel fumes, I can’t say that I heard.


  603. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I’d have to look at my notes on that. That would have been the day that I had the conversation with Inspector Ferguson?


  604. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    So I mean, it was clear that they were -- that particular day we were dysfunctional and unable to make a plan. I don’t believe I would make an opinion that just because of what she was experiencing or seeing that day meant that there was no way that the Ottawa Police Service could resolve this event eventually. It was just an observation that day that there was no plan and they were dysfunctional that day.


  605. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    As -- on January 29th, that would be an accurate statement, yes.


  606. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  607. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I do recall that.


  608. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was.


  609. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct, because I just -- from my experience, we normally plan kind of in 24-hour cycles, 48-hour cycles. To hear that there was a plan that didn't look like it would have a resolution until at least four weeks was surprising to me, yes, to hear that length of time that they were planning because -- and I believe that was the conversation where he basically stated, we don't know how to resolve this.


  610. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, and I believe in my other evidence I said as in my experience, as more time goes by in these events, it only adds more participants, which makes the job of policing more difficult. As ---


  611. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- each day and week passes, it makes the job even more difficult. So, excuse me, that's why there is a desire to try to end this type of event as soon as you can.


  612. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, we were happy -- in the weeks that followed after the main arrival, we were happy to work with our partners, and most of it was our own partners within the Province of Ontario was saying there was X number of trucks coming to Ottawa, we were happy to try to work out and communicate with them first, hopefully, to say, "Look, there's no more room downtown. You can't try to get downtown. You know, go to Casselman or go to these other areas." We would try to do those communications with those operators first.


  613. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  614. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    If we weren't successful, yes, Ottawa Police would say, "OPP, can you close this ramp or this ramp, because there was just no capability to accept those vehicles. It's going to cause traffic chaos. So can we try to get them to go to this ramp?" So the only way to get them to that ramp would be to close other ones. So we would do that, you know, off and on, but we certainly weren't supportive of just a total block 24/7 of off ramps or on ramps.


  615. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Certainly, once the protest was underway and we're into the second or third week, our plan was if -- with a truck was to try to get downtown, we would interdict it, stop it, and make arrests under the mischief authorities, because it was clear their intent was to participate in what was going on downtown. That's why they were going there. So the idea and the plan was, probably in the second or third week, is that if we saw a convoy coming across in the middle of the night and their intent was to come to Ottawa, we were going to monitor that convoy, try to communicate with them to say, "Don't go downtown. This is a risk you take if you go downtown. You're clearly wishing to participate in what is an illegal event. And if you get off at an off ramp and intend to head downtown, we will stop you."


  616. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Just prior to. That's correct.


  617. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Just I didn't want to make a blanket statement that we were allowing -- we were going to facilitate the arrival of trucks through this whole event. No, at some point, we were not going to facilitate trucks heading into the downtown core.


  618. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's correct. I just wanted to make sure ---


  619. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- your initial statement was ---


  620. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- it kind of made it seem that we were going to allow trucks to ---


  621. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- downtown through the whole event.


  622. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I certainly can appreciate that. In our perspective is we had to rely on Ottawa Police to say this is where we need those trucks to go. This is where we think we can house them. So we were only doing what Ottawa Police were requesting of us to facilitate the movement of trucks. I appreciate and understand ---


  623. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    --- the impact.


  624. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    No, because I'm not familiar with what type of communication the Commissioner has with Solicitor General, whether he reports those things to them or not. I'm not aware of that.


  625. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was never involved in any conversations, like, it was just ---


  626. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I wasn't aware if that was ever considered, no.


  627. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Morning, sir.


  628. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    They do have that authority, yes.


  629. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes, they're sworn in as officers in the Province of Ontario.


  630. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. Their powers under the Criminal Code and Highway Traffic Act and other provincial offences were in authority in any city in the province of Ontario.


  631. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There is a block highway offence under the Criminal Code, correct.


  632. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It can as well, yes.


  633. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yes. It's a block highway offence.


  634. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Sounds accurate, yes.


  635. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's -- I was advised of that information, yes.


  636. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I was advised that they were arrested for the offence of mischief.


  637. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That's how I understand it, yes.


  638. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Yeah, the Criminal Code applies to all law enforcement officers. If an OPP officer chose and felt they had the reasonable grounds under the mischief section to make an arrest for that offence, they would have had the ability to do that if they chose to, yes.


  639. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    If that -- if the officer felt that it fit the Criminal Code and fit as an offence, it would have the authority to do that.


  640. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Checkpoints leading into the downtown core?


  641. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can only go by what my officers were asked to do. My officers, OPP officers were never involved in checkpoints. I can’t speak to Ottawa Police or our partners to the MTO. I recall being involved in a teleconference with the MTO where they were considering doing vehicle safety checks within the city of Ottawa, but my members were never involved in any checkpoints.


  642. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can say there was, because on the early days of this event those were the areas my officers were asked to attend. And when I attended down there to check on them, they were essentially making sure that certain streets were closed in the downtown core. So there was cement barriers that blocked some streets, and some streets were blocked with physical police officers with cruisers blocking streets.


  643. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    The Ottawa Police Service or the City of Ottawa under their authorities to do that with their own streets.


  644. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    There was, yes.


  645. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I am aware of it, and I was assigned as the Strategic Commander for that event as well.


  646. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  647. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Correct. My members were used in the same kind of context to do traffic points and to restrict flow of vehicles on certain streets, yes.


  648. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would call it a successful event, yes.


  649. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Good morning, sir.


  650. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would not have been aware of that, because that was not part of my -- under my command, or part of my mandate.


  651. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I see it.


  652. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    It does, and I think it's important to clarify when they speak about frontline officers, it is strictly just those officers. These aren’t -- these numbers don't include Public Order Unit officers, they don't include intelligence officers, they don't include aviation services. There is many other OPP resources that were used in Ottawa that aren't captured in these numbers. Just for clarity.


  653. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)



  654. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I suppose there were more resources from Windsor, but the reason for the increase in the numbers would have been to bolster increased traffic points that needed to be bolstered in that period of time, in order to support the Public Order Unit plans. So I can't say that the increase that you see on the chart is directly connected to the successful conclusion of Windsor. It was more related to operational issues and plans here in Ottawa.


  655. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    That’s correct. And it was in this period of time when we talk about most of those 400 additional officers were frontline officers, and within the OPP the frontline officer component in Windsor was not as strong. We had a larger Public Order Unit component in Windsor, so the 400 additional unit members, those were frontline members that came from around the province, and that's why we had to defer block training and cancel discretionary leave to be able to get that number of officers to Ottawa.


  656. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I'm sorry, you have to repeat your question again.


  657. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I would agree with that. It was directly related to what we knew now was an operational plan with Public Order that needed extra support.


  658. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I never saw the plan, so I'm not certain of what the date was, but it was the plan that the Integrated Planning Team came up with.


  659. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I can't be certain of the title of it, I’m sorry.


  660. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I know it was being worked on because the Integrated Planning Team came February 9th, they started their work on the 10th and the 11th, the Act was in effect on the 14th. Because I wasn't on that side and I wasn't part of that team, I can tell you for sure exactly what date that that plan was finalized.


  661. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I recall, yes.


  662. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    I don’t recall us speaking about Public Order Unit commitments. We already had a large amount of public order sections in the city already. I think it was more -- the discussion was more about how we could get extra. Certainly, OPP could provide a couple more sections, but in that meeting, in Ottawa Police Headquarters, I don't recall us talking about the OPP POU component that may be able to assist. Chief Pardy may have talked about that, but I don't recall that.


  663. Craig Abrams, Supt (ON-OPP)

    Thank you, Commissioner.