Dahlia Shuhaibar

Dahlia Shuhaibar spoke 103 times across 2 days of testimony.

  1. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Good afternoon. For the record I’m Dahlia Shuhaibar with the Commission. So I have some questions for you, Ms. Termorshuizen, about the missions and embassies in Ottawa. And so you mentioned earlier the Office of Protocol. Can you just explain the ---


  2. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I’m sorry, yes. Can you explain in a bit more detail what the Office of Protocol is?


  3. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. I understand that the office was receiving some complaints from missions during this period. Can you elaborate on those?


  4. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So did they have any security concerns? Or what kind of concerns did they have in particular?


  5. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And I believe you raised these concerns at the DMOCC meetings? Is that right?


  6. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I’d like to pull up SSM.NSC.CAN00000155. So just for context, I believe the Office of Protocol sent three notice submissions during this period?


  7. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yeah. So this is the third one from February 9th. And if we could just look at the part in red? So if you scroll down a little bit? Oh, it’s not around this situation. Okay. The paragraph starting “The RCMP…” So: “The [RCMP] has advised the Office of Protocol that it currently has no specific concerns for diplomatic missions in connection with this event from a protective policing…”


  8. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yeah, excuse me. Sorry. “…has no specific concerns for diplomatic missions in connection with this event from a protective policing perspective.” So were you aware of this assessment from the RCMP?


  9. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And would you say that Canada was unable to fulfil its obligations under the Convention during this time?


  10. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So I’d like to switch to a different topic, which is the invocation of the Emergencies Act. So when did you become aware that it would be invoked?


  11. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So was GAC providing any input on that or advise to invoke it? That kind of thing?


  12. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Since you mentioned RRM Canada, I actually had some questions about that.


  13. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Could you just explain what that is in general terms?


  14. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So I understand that RRM Canada produced several reports during this period. I’d like to pull one up. It’s SSM.NSC.CAN00000169. This is from February 14th. If we look at the key findings, the first one says: “RRM Canada has not seen evidence of significant foreign state sponsored involvement in the online information space to date.” So were you seeing these reports at the time?


  15. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And was this -- when they speak of “significant foreign state sponsored involvement” can you expand on that? I think you’ve touched on that already, but what were they looking for?


  16. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And were these reports shared with other departments during this time as well?


  17. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I’d like to return to just another few questions about the Emergencies Act itself. And just when we looked at the section 58 explanation before, it talks about the adverse affects on trade corridors, international border crossings, and Canada’s relationship with its trading partners. Can you comment on how the measures were designed to address those concerns?


  18. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    No, that’s okay. How did they affect the concerns, I suppose? Were they effective in the end, these measures?


  19. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Do you have anything to add, Mr. Comartin? Like, did you hear from stakeholders?


  20. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And did the measures ultimately resolve the concerns that Missions Ottawa had as well?


  21. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I think I’m just about out of time, so just a general question; is there anything I haven’t raised that you would like to raise for today?


  22. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Anything you’d like to add, Mr. Comartin?


  23. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Thank you very much; those are my questions.


  24. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Good morning, good to see you again. For the record, I am Dahlia Shuhaibar.


  25. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Well, here we are.


  26. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So I will be asking some questions about Finance’s work on assessing the economic impact of the blockade. And I think you’ve set the stage very well with sort of the less quantifiable impacts, and now we’re going to be looking at more of the quantifiable ones. And I’ll be directing these primarily to you, Mr. Mendes, but I, of course, welcome other panel member’s views. So, Mr. Mendes, I understand that your division produced two formal economic analyses on February 10th and 22nd, is that right?


  27. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  28. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And were these shared with Minister Freeland?


  29. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Mr. Sabia, did ---


  30. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yes. And do you know if she shared them with the Incident Response Group or with her Cabinet colleagues?


  31. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Thank you. So I’ll be getting to these analyses momentarily, but first can you describe the kind of information that Finance was receiving from Transport Canada and other departments?


  32. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So I’d like to pull that up, actually. So that’s PBCAN00000840. And this is the February 11th backgrounder I think you were referring to from Transport Canada. And this was shared with Finance, right?


  33. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yes. If we go to page 3, please. It sets out three macroeconomic scenarios on the impact of the closure of the bridge. And I appreciate that you didn’t produce this, but can you walk us through those scenarios?


  34. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  35. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Sorry; can I interrupt for one quick second?


  36. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    You mentioned just-in-time delivery; can you just explain that?


  37. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. Thank you. So the first scenario was about the auto sector shutting down ---


  38. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And I think that’s where Scenarios 2 and 3 come in?


  39. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. So there’s some emails produced to us from your team that suggest they thought Scenarios 2 and 3 were pretty unlikely. Did you have a view on that at the time?


  40. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  41. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. And what about Scenario 1; did you think that was a likely scenario, or...?


  42. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. So, I’d like to pull up the first analysis; it’s SSMCAN00000177. And so you said that you used this -- the backgrounder we just looked at as a starting point. But I understand this analysis differed in some ways. Can you expand on that?


  43. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  44. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. But at this stage, you didn’t attempt to quantify the impacts yet, I believe?


  45. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And why is that?


  46. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. So I’d like to go to page 2.


  47. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Oh, of course.


  48. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I see. Thank you. So on page 2, the bullet that begins “economic impacts”. Scroll down a little bit. Yeah. There we go. So about half way into the paragraph, it says: “In the near-term, most manufacturers are likely to continue producing as they find alternative shipping routes and/or through inventory management (in anticipation of a resolution of the blockades). Still, the macro-economic impacts could quickly rise depending on how long the protests last and whether they spread further, with production eventually forced to slow.” So can you expand on how the possibility of rerouting and inventory management sort of factored into your analysis?


  49. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  50. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Can you comment on ---


  51. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Oh, of course.


  52. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Of course. Yeah. Go ahead.


  53. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    That’s helpful. Thank you.


  54. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So if we go to page 2, to the bullet that starts “Occupations of downtown cores”? Maybe the next -- sorry, the next page, I guess. Yes. There we go. So: “The occupations in certain cities (notably downtown Ottawa) [are] having important economic and social impacts on local residents and businesses. If the disruptions remain contained and end soon, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the wider economy given the relatively small size of the impacted areas and likely diversion of activity to other parts of the cities.” So ---


  55. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  56. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  57. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Absolutely. Sorry. So is it fair to say that during this period, Finance was primarily focused on the border blockades, rather than the protests in cities? Or the economic impacts of those?


  58. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I guess they would affect the whole economy, whereas cities were more localized?


  59. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. So the next bullet, “Implications for Monitoring”, it’s a big one, but we’ll just start it. So: “Up to now, the blockades had mainly delayed trade activities of goods (valued at around $500 million per day) and increased shipping costs. This represents the value of goods being delayed and does not translate into direct permanent loss. If the disruptions were to end now, most losses could be recouped leaving little impact on economic activity in [the first quarter of 2022].” Just pausing there, can you expand on the idea that the delays would not translate into direct permanent loss?


  60. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  61. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  62. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  63. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Of course.


  64. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    That’s very helpful and I think my colleague will be exploring a bit more about what measures you took and why. That’s very good context, so... We’re going to be getting into some technical points now, and so I think it would be helpful to clarify some concepts for those of us who are not economists, including myself. So am I right that, at a basic level, GDP is the value of goods and services produced by a country in a given period of time?


  65. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yes. And it’s often considered in different quarters of the year?


  66. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. And so can you explain the difference between the level of GDP and the growth of GDP?


  67. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay, thank you. I’d like to pull up SSMCAN00003771.


  68. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay, thank you. And we’ll see that this is an email from February 10th from Julie Turcotte, who I believe is the Director General of Economic Analysis and Forecasting. And so at the top here, she says: “FYI. Bloomberg is suggesting a 0.1 [pp]...” Which is, “percentage points,” I think: “...direct drag on annualized GDP growth (for each week of major slowdowns, seems large to me?!) and an extra 0.2-0.3 [percentage points] indirect effects ... (of course, too cute to be really backed by analysis, and most likely overstated to make up for nice media attention)” So when they say, “A 0.1 percentage points, direct drag on annualized GDP growth,” can you explain that in simple terms for us?


  69. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And maybe that’s a contrast to the 0.2 to 0.3 in indirect effects?


  70. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So it seems like Ms. Turcotte is a little bit sceptical about these conclusions. Like, did you have a view at the time, or...?


  71. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Fair enough. So I’d like to pull up SSMCAN00000095. And these are minutes from the February 13th meeting of the Incident Response Group, which I believe, Mr. Sabia, you were attending, is that right? If we can go page 6, once you have it up? I think this is the only unredacted sentence, so: “The Minister highlighted ongoing economic losses of 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of GDP for every week the blockades continue.” (As read) So this is Minister Freeland?


  72. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yes. And as you just said, at this stage you had not provided a figure like this to Ms. Freeland.


  73. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yes. And so when she -- and she actually told us in the interview she had got this from the Bloomberg report.


  74. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And when she speaks about, “Ongoing losses of GDP every week,” is it fair to say it’s not clear whether she’s talking about level or growth?


  75. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  76. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  77. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And could that ---


  78. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  79. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  80. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay, that’s helpful. Can we pull up SSMCAN00001980? (SHORT PAUSE)


  81. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And so this is an email that you sent, Mr. Mendes, to Mr. Sabia on February 22nd. And so if you scroll down a little bit. Yeah: "Michael, [A]s requested, here is our best current estimate of the impact of the blockades: With the current information, we estimate that the border blockades would reduce the level of GDP in 2022Q1 by 0.03 to 0.05 percent. In terms of annualized growth, this would knock off about 0.1- 0.2 percentage points in [the first quarter]. Much of the impact on the level of GDP will likely be recouped in the [the second quarter] as production catches up." And so when you say there would be a reduction in the level in the first quarter by 0.3 to 0.05 percent, 0.03, excuse me, so that means the economy would have produced 0.03 to 0.05 percent less than expected? Is that what it means?


  82. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. And on the part about annualized growth, can you just explain that one, the reduction in 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points?


  83. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And can you elaborate on this sentence about how the level -- the impact on the level of GDP would likely be recouped in the second quarter?


  84. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And so if the level could possibly be recouped, does that also mean that the effects on annual growth could be offset or do they not operate that way?


  85. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. And so the next bullets we've sort of covered already. We talk about the -- you talk about the supply chains being under stress already, and then the major impact of the auto disruption?


  86. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  87. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Right. So it could have been way worse, but thankfully it wasn't, basically?


  88. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. So the last two bullets, they say: "The ultimate impact, will, among other things depend on [the] ability of affected businesses to increase production beyond normal levels to catch up on lost output in the coming weeks." And: "These economic impacts could quickly escalate in the event that blockades were to [re-emerge] and if other crossings had become unavailable." So I think we've sort of covered these points, but anything you want to add about those?


  89. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    It sort of looks good, but...


  90. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I'd like to pull up SSM.CAN.00007571. And this is the second analysis from February 22nd. And I don't propose to walk through it in the same way because I think we've covered a lot of it. And -- would you agree that a lot of it expands on your email that we just saw?


  91. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Yes. But I will look at a few things. So in the big "Economic impacts" paragraph on page 1, there's a fair bit of detail about the delays in trade and effects on auto production. And the last two sentences say: "Though the Bridge has reopened, it will likely take time to return to the pre-disruption pace of trade and production. In addition, the fallout could be even greater if producers choose to source their supply chains elsewhere in the longer term, for fear of these disruptions re-occurring." And so this idea that producers might source their supply chains elsewhere, was this something that Finance was hearing? And perhaps, Mr. Sabia, you might want to speak to it, I'm not sure.


  92. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  93. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. If we go to page 5, please, to the second table. It's called Economic Impact of Border Blockades. And so the first column says: "Value of goods per day prevented of free flow, $511M per day at the peak." And the second column says: "Estimated economic costs per day, between $28M and $56M per day at the peak." Can you explain the two columns and how they interact?


  94. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    I'd like to pull up SSM.CAM.00003807. And so this is a draft of the Section 58 explanation, so the formal explanation the government gave for the Emergencies Act. And I can pull up an email if you like, but do you recall it being sent to you, this draft, Mr. Mendes, on February 16th or so?


  95. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. If we go to page 6, please? The second full paragraph says, "The economic impact to date is estimated at approximately 0.1 per cent of Canada's GDP per week; however, the impact on important trade corridors and the risk to the reputation of Canada as a stable, predictable and reliable location for investment may be jeopardized if disruptions continue." And so I can pull it up if you like, but do you recall writing an email saying that you had asked for this paragraph to be removed?


  96. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    And why did you ask for that?


  97. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  98. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  99. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. I just have one last document. So it's SSM.CAN.0000498. And so this is a memo from April 6th that was prepared by the Privy Council Office for the Prime Minister. And we can see at the top it's called "Merchandise Trade in February 2022." If we go down to page 2, just the first bullet under "PCO Comment". "February data confirm that the border crossing blockades in February had limited impact on the flow of goods, as lower traffic at the impacted border crossings was partly offset by increased trade activity at other crossings. This suggests that border protest did not significantly disrupt the Canadian economic activity in February, in line with the advanced real GDP estimate, which anticipates a growth of 0.8%." Do you agree with the conclusion that there wasn't a significant impact on the economy?


  100. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)



  101. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. Just as my last question, I understand that Finance didn't do sort of an after- the-fact assessment, and can you explain why, of the impact of the GDP?


  102. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    So, basically, it's hard to isolate the impact of one single ---


  103. Dahlia Shuhaibar, Counsel (POEC)

    Okay. So those are all my questions. I'll turn it back to Mr. Cameron. Thank you.