Jody Thomas

Jody Thomas spoke 488 times across 1 day of testimony.

  1. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    On a religious document, please.


  2. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Bible, please.


  3. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Jody Hazel Thomas. T-H-O-M-A- S.


  4. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  5. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  6. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's correct.


  7. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I am.


  8. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I have.


  9. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  10. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Department of National Defence, Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety and its agencies, CBSA, CSIS, RCMP, and the Canadian Security Establishment -- the Communication Security Establishment known as CSE. Those are the primary players.


  11. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's correct. There are four Secretariates. So the newest is the Emergency Management Secretariate and it was created in November 2021. And then the Foreign Policy and Defence Advisor to the Prime Minister reports through me. The Assistant Secretary for Intelligence Assessment, which is Martin Green, and then the Security and Intelligence Secretariate, which is the job done by -- led by Martin -- or, sorry, Mike MacDonald.


  12. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Prime Minister and the Clerk.


  13. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So any written brief or advice that goes to the Prime Minister goes through the Clerk. I sign it off as the National Security Advisor, but she also reviews it and signs it before it heads -- it goes to the Prime Minister. Verbal briefs, Cabinet briefs, discussions with the Prime Minister, the Clerk is in the room normally, and she's certainly aware of what I'm discussing with the Prime Minister. I don't call him directly. I haven't had to in the environment that we have been existing in. Generally, the conversation -- anything I need to get to him I go through PMO or through the Clerk.


  14. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I became the NSIA on January 11th, 2022.


  15. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was the Deputy Minister of National Defence.


  16. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Since November 2017.


  17. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, then the Deputy Commissioner of the Coast Guard, so I've had 35 years of experience in the federal government.


  18. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, that's correct.


  19. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The sources of intelligence, covert and overt, so open source, but also what's collected by the agencies, comes from CSIS, RCMP, CSE, Global Affairs Canada and the Foreign Intelligence Secretariate and Canadian Forces Intelligence Command as the primary domestic agencies. We also hear from our Five Eyes colleagues, so we hear from the -- we get intelligence that we read and consume and analyse, assess from Australia, the UK, New Zealand and the U.S. We also receive open source and review open source information from academics, look at social media, to some extent, not as much as we should. We do about certain incidents, but we don't do social media scraping, as an example, and that will later become an issue that we talk about. So primarily, the information, the intelligence we receive, we receive domestically but we have links around the world.


  20. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So raw -- I read raw intelligence, but the Intelligence Assessment Secretariate assesses it. It looks at trends. It looks at implications for Canada, if intelligence is actionable, meaning we receive a piece of intelligence that says something could happen, what do we do with that? They do that kind of assessment, reaching out back to those departments to ensure that there is a global view of what this intelligence means for Canada and for our allies.


  21. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    They do. They do multiple kinds of products. They do longer term vision products about we see a trend coming. They do a daily foreign intelligence brief, which is a document that is sent to a reading list of people around various departments and within PCO. They do an update once a week to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister's Foreign Intelligence Update. They will do bespoke products on specific situations. We had, for example, this week, an incident in Ukraine where there was missile shot down in Poland, so they did a bespoke piece on that to analyze it very quickly in conjunction with the rest of the security agencies, primarily D&D in this case.


  22. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So what he is referring to is that with the media reporting that there were probably some people who had other than peaceful intentions, what was CSIS going to do about that? And CSIS cannot surveil a lawful protest. Now, if there are individuals who are subjects of theirs, investigations in that, they can monitor the activities of those individuals, but they cannot scan, surveil, watch a protest anticipating violence, looking for subject to follow. Peaceful protests are not part of their mandate.


  23. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  24. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  25. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Joint Task Force 2, so special forces.


  26. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Flagged within the ADM NS OPS working group, I would suggest, rather than just Mr. MacDonald.


  27. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I would think that he is talking about information from law enforcement on what their planned actions are going to be. I mean, we don’t expect to be pre-briefed on what they're going to do. We don’t get into tactical plans, but the reporting out of the activity on the Hill, how was that going to happen or in the protest?


  28. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s what I think, reading this.


  29. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So there is a general gap in terms of open source information and who can collect it, who can analyze, and what we do with it. RCMP collects information for law enforcement purposes and as do other police agencies. We've all heard of Op Hendon now. I don’t receive Op Hendon reports, as an example. And so the police forces, collectively, have a lot of information that they can't necessarily share, and so those of us in jobs like mine and Deputy Minister Stewart's who need some overview of what's coming, who these people are, what their intentions are, have a difficulty in receiving that kind of open source information.


  30. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely, it was an issue. The online space is where planning now occurs, and so it's not tapping phones any longer the way things were done in the Cold War. Online space, non-warranted space, and how do you receive, assess, and then use that information in a legal manner?


  31. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    My -- so Ottawa is the city of protests. That’s been said. It's known. The OPS is experienced in collaborating with all the various other agencies involved in terms of managing protests. The early reporting was that this would be a normal protest, arrive, disrupt, spend some time here in Ottawa, and then leave. We were seeing just on Twitter feeds, you know, your own Twitter feed indications that perhaps this was going to be something more, but the information we had at that point in time from the accountable agencies was that they had it managed and it was going to be big, it was going to complex, but they would be able to handle in the way they have handled so many other protests.


  32. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, Op INTERSECT, which is the grouping that you've heard about of all the police agencies in Ottawa certainly stood up and was operating. Employees were told to stay home over the weekend. Don’t come to the office if you can avoid coming downtown. We set up reporting mechanisms and we arranged to brief ministers on what we knew and what was going on over the course of the weekend.


  33. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So the original response, every day the question was, when is this going to end? What are we doing to end it? There is absolutely no doubt that having it end was the priority. In the immediate, there seemed to be quite a bit of activity between OPS and RCMP to understand the magnitude of this. At the same time, after the first weekend, we saw behaviour on the streets that indicated they were settling in for quite some time, you know, wheels were removed from rigs so that they couldn't be towed, supply lines were being set up. And so something quite different was happening and unfolding in front of our eyes.


  34. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Mike MacDonald and Dom Rochon at the time.


  35. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s right. And DMOC was meeting. DMOC, you've heard a lot about it. It was meeting informally. We made it a standing meeting every day at the same time, but we were checking in to see what we knew and what could be done to end this protest every day and we were briefing ministers.


  36. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  37. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    As long as it has existed, it's been chaired by the National Security Advisor.


  38. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s the majority of it. So with deputy ministers, hearing what the ADMs were doing, and then the law enforcement meetings were going on in parallel, and certainly Op INTERSECT was meeting in parallel.


  39. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not in the first weekend, not until the first meeting with the City.


  40. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t have the date in front of me but we don’t have the information available. So it was the first meeting that Rob Stewart called. I had asked -- I’m new in the job. We’re meeting every day to understand what we can do, what action can be taken, who has what authority, and I asked if I can call the City; what is my role vis-à-vis the City being a federal authority? Discussed it with Deputy Minister Stewart; because he has the federal policing responsibility and that secretariat works for him, it was decided he would do the reach out to the City, and that’s how we had our first meeting with the City Manager and Chief Sloly.


  41. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Second, I would say.


  42. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  43. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely not. From where we sat, all three levels of government needed to be involved. And the federal government was very involved. The RCMP was meeting constantly with the Ottawa Police Service. We were working to understand and that elements of the people on the streets of Ottawa were and what they intended to do. So that was the intelligence side of things. We were looking at what federal Acts and authorities could be used to have the rigs moved and the truckers leave downtown Ottawa, and we want to know what provincial laws could be used and would be enforced to ensure we could clear the streets. Mr. Di Tomasso, his answer was, “Well, it’s a federal jurisdiction.” Ottawa is a city in Ontario and the provincial accountability is the same for Ottawa except for a very small precinct on Parliament Hill. But where the majority of the protests were, is a municipality. And so I found that Mr. Di Tomasso, while friendly and cooperative, was very hands off, and I didn’t understand why, and I wanted to make the point that we’re not Washington, DC. Ottawa is a municipality of Ontario. And so very simple things like the Ontario Police Services Act, which requires Ottawa Police Service to go to the OPP for additional resources is -- were additional resources going to be provided to Ottawa to assist?


  44. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So without betraying what was said at the meetings, my role was to give an overview of the situation nation-to-nation, like coast-to-coast, the entire nation. As we were moving into having blockades at border crossings, pop-up convoys across the country, as well as the situation in Ottawa, I gave a consolidated view of what was happening across the country, what we were seeing in terms of manifestation; intelligence that said there were going to be new convoys or maybe there weren’t; what we saw from CSIS on the IME, the ideologically-motivated-extremist front; any arrests, those kinds of high-level details that gave a -- framed the discussion that the prime minister was going to have with other officials in his cabinet, ministers. And so, did I give advice? No, I gave overview in the discussion. If required, I would make suggestions, as all officials do at those meetings, at IRGs. But my overview in my opening remarks were not advice.


  45. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Advice is -- so assessment is, “Prime Minister, we think that they are going to stay in Ottawa for another weekend. Looking at all the indicators, the assessment is…” Now, that’s a very simplistic example, but -- advice is, “The RCMP should move in right now and take it over and clean up the streets of Ottawa.” That would be advice. Again, I’m giving you a very extreme example of something that was not said.


  46. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So SSE is the Standing Committee of Cabinet chaired by Minister Blair, and it’s the Safety, Security, and Emergency Management Committee.


  47. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Open source. They were saying it themselves. They had news conferences and they were putting out their own media indicating that they would sit with representatives.


  48. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  49. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  50. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  51. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Some of it was the work that was already being done by the PLTs, and so it was to introduce that discussion and that line of work that was being done by OPS with the demonstrators, and we were hearing that engagement would be welcomed. It wasn’t yet defined, we didn’t have a plan for it; we didn’t even know what it would look like, but we’re just reporting what we’re being told. And we’re hearing that from the City of Ottawa, primarily.


  52. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    For the City to talk to them, yes, because this was happening in the City of Ottawa.


  53. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Exactly. Reduce the noise, the number of rigs, hopefully break up the protest.


  54. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Incident Response Group is a Cabinet Committee chaired by the Prime Minister that is used to make quick, rapid decisions about incidents of national importance for a crisis, including national security incidents. It’s been used multiple times: It was used over COVID; it was used for the Hurricane Fiona; it was used for the downing of Ukraine Flight 752. So it’s an effective tool that the Prime Minister invokes in order to have discussions with both Ministers and officials at the table so that he hears from subject matter experts, the Chief of the Defence staff as an example, Deputy Ministers with particular expertise, as well as Ministers.


  55. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, it was.


  56. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It was still being explored, absolutely.


  57. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  58. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Right. At that point, only the RCMP knew the extent of the weapons.


  59. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, yeah.


  60. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  61. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  62. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So an engagement proposal needed to be discussed by Ministers, and certainly no Deputy Minister, or I, had the authority to move forward with engagement without it being discussed at a Cabinet level. And the green light was to get it on the agenda to be discussed formally.


  63. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I -- my view at that time was that we should take nothing off the table, we had to continue to explore all options. We were going into the third weekend on February 11th. I didn’t understand yet what the negotiating mandate would be. So you go with something, and you expect to get something back, and we had no clarity on that. Further, we had no clarity because of the disparate group of people who were blockading Ottawa, and this was about Ottawa, specifically. Who would be the leader who would be able to coalesce the -- you know, the mass of humanity who were on the streets of Ottawa to then adhere to whatever was negotiated.


  64. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not at this point. During the discussion -- during the discussion at Cabinet, views were sought.


  65. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  66. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  67. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I did.


  68. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yeah, we were hearing this from the OPS and INTERSECT, and certainly, again, social media, and media, they were with -- bouncy castles had happened. The view that we were -- they were here to stay; that they had zero regard for the citizens of Ottawa, that social media was talking more and more about aggressive action to stay, holding the line, dig in. It was just a change in tone that was noted. And sometimes changes are subtle, but you have to pay attention to them. We saw more people on the street that weekend than we had anticipated, and fewer people were leaving at the end of the day, and the, well, raucous atmosphere was extending later into the evening. We saw things like the wrecking ball on Wellington Street by then. And so there was just a change in the forcefulness of the tone.


  69. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    We were also hearing the increased low level of violence, the fears of the citizens of Ottawa, the honking continued despite the injunction. What became apparent to us as we were assessing the situation is that this wasn't breaking up.


  70. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So the issues that were discussed at IRG and the action plan out of it was this tracker. I think the Prime Minister was, I'm paraphrasing here, and I don't want to put words in his mouth, of course, the Prime Minister and the Clerk were concerned that the people would discuss, leave the table, and then what would be the outcomes of the direction that was given. And so this was to track all the activity to understand what could be done and the progress, the status on achieving certain goals. So the action plan for tow trucks ---


  71. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- as in for instance. So what was done, where did it stand, and we would update it every single day.


  72. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It is. So the RCMP, OPP, OPS all collect open source information for law enforcement purposes, we saw that in Op Hendon. CSIS collects some open source information in very specific circumstances for subjects or investigations of their own. We knew that social media was being used to mobilise, to plan actions, to talk about what was going to happen next, to talk to other protests across the country. You can't do that as an -- so you can't track individuals. PCO cannot track individual social media. We didn't have the tools in place to do scraping of social media and understand the trends. As an example, one morning they talked about slow rolling convoys through school zones. It was being reported on the radio that this is all over Twitter, why aren't the police doing anything about it? Not that the police can respond to everything they see on Twitter, and that's not what I'm implying at all, but if we had the correct tools and the legal mandate to collect this kind of information we would have some understanding of the trends and where this was potentially going. We didn't have the tools or the mandate.


  73. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, there are social -- there are IA based tools that can be purchased to look for keywords, to look for algorithms, and we don't have those. You can't put a person in front of the screen and just have them Google "convoy" and get enough information quickly enough to do anything with it. So you actually need computer based tools to do computer based analysis.


  74. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That is one of the primary problems that we're facing right now. The level of violent threats against the Prime Minister and other elected officials, and some public figures. Dr. Tam, as an example, received enormous hate online and some of it was threatening and indicated a threat against her. Distinguishing a credible threat, an identifiable person with an identifiable threat that looks like they have the capability to execute that threat, so not only intent but capability, is sort of the formula used to understand if a threat is credible or not. The problem is online people are difficult, in some cases, close to impossible to identify. Throw burner accounts, et cetera, it is easy to hide an identity online. And the RCMP do a very -- and other police services do a very good job of those kinds of investigations, but in the moment, in the middle of this crises, with the number of threats going up against elected officials, it was an enormous problem and an enormous concern.


  75. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, I was not. And we build my speaking points from the information from the agencies and departments. I will say that an IRG, Deputy Ministers and Deputy Heads, individuals who are at that meeting, are expected to provide information that is of use to decision-makers, being the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. And so if there is useful information or critical information it needs to be provided, whether you're on the speaking list or not.


  76. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    In the DMOC meeting that morning, she said that there was possibly a plan with the OPS and OPP. She had said that several times previously.


  77. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  78. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  79. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It was our collective assessment, yes. We were already seeing signs that the agreement was falling apart, that other leaders, other parts of the blockade were saying, “No, we’re not leaving.”


  80. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That, “There is no deal.”


  81. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    At this point it was very clear that there was no one person or group to dialogue with, where you could get achievable outcomes, which meant the group breaking up in downtown Ottawa.


  82. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t recall Cabinet being informed of that. But on February -- I will go back to on February 13th, this had also been said, and there was an IRG, and at this point, -- so it wasn’t said at the IRG. At this point, we had no evidence of that. And so while it was said, and these are the minutes, there is no evidence that there was a plan. And as I’d noted, we had been told there was a plan multiple times.


  83. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    We would expect some level of assurance from the RCMP that the people were in place, it was executable. We don’t expect to see details. That’s policing. But we needed a level of assurance that yes, finally, the officers needed, the equipment needed, the executable, strategic, and tactical plan was there. The same thing that had been asked for several days. We didn’t have any evidence or assurance that that was in fact the -- where we were.


  84. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think that’s part of it, yes. I also think that the plans were just not quite as firm as we would have hoped.


  85. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So I don’t remember all the people in the to, but probably Mike MacDonald, David Vigneault, RCMP. It was part of a complete package of information that was being put together. There had been multiple threat assessments, but this was to be a formal document and we had just discussed it in a conversation. And so we had talked about the need for a last formal document, should Cabinet decide to proceed with the Emergencies Act, as opposed to the daily updates we were giving. So laying out the entire spectrum of threat. And so I needed it very quickly. We were going to collate it. We just needed the information from the agencies.


  86. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Prime Minister.


  87. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    She’s my Chief of Staff.


  88. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was being asked questions about how specific it should be. And so that was my response.


  89. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Of what the threat was and sort of the range of issues that were of concern. So national interest and institutions, lack of confidence in police as police were being stretched across the country, the desire to have government policy changed by force, mandates. There were people preparing to be violent. We saw it on social media. We certainly knew that both CSIS and RCMP had concern about some people and the potential for violence. And there was certainly an anti-government sentiment throughout.


  90. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not everybody on the ground. Absolutely. This wasn’t a monolithic group of people. But yes, those elements were there.


  91. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t think it was.


  92. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think it fell through the cracks and we were overtaken by events.


  93. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    PCO probably would have written it, based on information received from all the agencies.


  94. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  95. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Phillipe Lafortune worked for Mike MacDonald, I believe it was Mike, in the Security and Intelligence Group.


  96. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do not offhand.


  97. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s the information sharing.


  98. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No. I don’t think I asked for it. I don’t recall, unless there's an email that says I did ask for it. But it is an ongoing question. Who defines national security? What is the definition? And even in the National Security Policy in 2003, I think it was written, it wasn’t really defined.


  99. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  100. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    In a public policy.


  101. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, correct.


  102. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Right. National Security Policy, as an example.


  103. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, probably Public Safety ---


  104. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- has the policy lead on national security issues.


  105. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  106. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  107. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  108. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No. Laid out the complexity of understanding how to define the problem set, absolutely, but not particularly. We received a lot of information in those days.


  109. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It wouldn't have -- I don’t believe it was ever discussed at Cabinet, but certainly it was shared with other deputy ministers.


  110. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    They said it did not meet the threshold as defined in their very narrow interpretation of what they can do under their Act.


  111. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  112. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  113. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  114. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    February 13th.


  115. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It was discussed in a Cabinet meeting.


  116. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    After the discussion was concluded, my view was that it was not a workable plan.


  117. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  118. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That I did not see who we would negotiate and engage with, what the outcomes could possible be, that there was not one group who had enough influence over the entire group to affect an outcome that would be positive, and I did not know who we would put in front of them. Esteemed an capable as my colleague Deputy Minister Stewart was, that wasn’t going to be a name that was going to mean anything to the protesters. And so who it would be, what they would do, and who it would be with were unanswerable questions. We had also seen negotiations attempted and fail in Windsor and we actually, as has been testified here, knew that in Coutts the engagement strategy and the lessening and the path to reducing and removing mandates in Alberta actually caused the protesters there to dig in because they thought that would then allow for a complete removal immediately, so the unintended consequences were greater than the consequences.


  119. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, and I apologize. Yes. And my answer was yes.


  120. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  121. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think when we are looking at primary open-source information as opposed to investigation- specific information -- so let’s draw a line draw there -- the RCMP’s investigating person acts for having done something criminal. As the NSIA, should I receive that? No. I receive information when the RCMP are making an arrest of a federal crime that would be of interest to the NSIA, so -- but after they’ve done it, or is about to make the arrest or make the announcement. General tactical operational information on a day-to-day basis, I don’t have any need for from the RCMP but when we’re in a situation like this -- it’s a crisis; I’m coordinating the town; the RCMP is aware I’m coordinating the town -- I’m asking for information about what’s happening, what’s coming, what they expect, what -- not, again, operational planning but what is going to happen, what law enforcement is talking about, what their concerns are, because there are ways I can help, potentially. It would be useful to have that information. And we didn’t receive the flow of information from the RCMP, even their intelligence unit that I think we possibly might have.


  122. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    We would do X, Y, or Z, and we’d think this is necessary, we’re short 100 people. Or we need cabinet permission. Or we need -- it could be any number of things and the hypotheticals are long. But in this particular situation, I think that we could help reduce the pressure on the RCMP to answer questions constantly if we had some indication of the intelligence they were seeing, primarily, again, open-source, and what they were going to do with it. We could answer questions. We could reduce the anxiety about what was going on.


  123. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely. This isn’t interference or telling them what to do, and it’s not getting the way of an operation. It’s just information flow.


  124. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  125. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  126. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely. It was a question that we discussed constantly. And I don’t know if -- there may be a policing definition but there certainly isn’t a public policy definition.


  127. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I didn’t see it. If it did, I did not see it.


  128. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  129. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  130. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yeah, I think they’re distinct issues. When a lawful protest ends versus when it trips into something else, I think those are two different issues. And one is very much a city issue, how long the city gives permits for protests, those kinds of things, I think that's more in the city's domain. When it moves from lawful to unlawful and becomes a public order issue, again, mostly belonging to a municipality but we're in a unique circumstance here in Windsor, in Coutts, across the country, when do protests, blockades become unlawful. Because it -- this is talking about the OPS, but the question we were asking ourselves was much broader.


  131. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think there were two on February 14th, or there might have been two on the 13th, but we were generally meeting in the morning before we briefed the Ministers.


  132. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It was a very -- my recollection is that it was a very interesting conversation, one that we needed to spend more time on, but in the height of a crises you move on to operational things very quickly. There is -- it was a discussion about lawful and unlawful, violent and peaceful, and can you be unlawful and still, for all intents and purposes, peaceful, meaning you're not January 6th? And is that line of violence only measured when you are at the January 6th stage and status, series of events? Or is the violence that people were -- of Ottawa were experiencing on the streets, the inability of people in Windsor to conduct their lives in the neighbourhood where the blockade, the inability of the Town of Coutts to function, is that a line? And so where is that? And I don't have an answer for it, but it is something that we have to consider as situations like this perhaps become more of the norm. And the -- what we were discussing is that the only measure can't be violence of a nature of January 6th. That can't be well this is something different or January 6th is about to happen; therefore, it is now not illegal but a national security threat. There is a spectrum of activity and behaviour and threat in there that we need to understand, and so that was the nature of the conversation. And it's one that's continued. I can't tell you that I have a paper on it yet. We don't have a policy -- a paper going forward to the Clerk, but it is a conversation that is continuing because it's critical. We have seen these kind of uprisings in democracies around the world. What does it mean? What can we do? What should we do? Questions to be asked that have to be thoughtfully considered before we're in the situation potentially again.


  133. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Correct. And yes, the work is ongoing.


  134. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I'm speculating in terms of the particular situation. The Emergency Act was still in place. I don't know if these locations, because I don't have the map in front of me, are still in the exclusion zone or not. And so if in the exclusion zone, by virtue of the Act, if inside the exclusion zone, they would have been illegal. In regards to your question about protecting lawful protest, that's a fundamental. People who wish to protest lawfully, peacefully, respecting the rights of, in this case, the citizens of Ottawa, that's a given in this city. The right to do that is a given in the Constitution, it's just a fundamental right Canadians have. That discussion again about when it metastasizes into something else is what we are pursuing.


  135. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So when we spoke about the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat, I said that they will do longer thought pieces as well as immediate operational assessments. So the immediate, the missile strike in Poland, this is an example of the kind of thought they do, piece they do to look at trends to understand the context in which the foreign policy, security, and intelligence issues are nested. This is a companion piece to something that they had written. Well, long before I came to PCO, I was given it to read, just as I arrived at PCO, about what happens in societies, historically, after pandemics. And so very interesting piece, and this was a companion to it.


  136. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  137. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I didn’t know about the previous piece when the convoys rolled in, because again, I wasn’t at PCO, and in my job at Defence, I hadn’t seen it. The Clerk brought it to my attention as something she had read and found very interesting. And so I pulled it up and read it and this was done as an addition to that.


  138. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think it was part of -- thinking implies -- I think it was more a -- it was just informative.


  139. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Some people were aware. Was it of the documents we talk about on a daily basis at PCO, was it one of them? No.


  140. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    IAS, the Intelligence Assessment Group, puts out a lot of these. People read them not as an immediate to do their job. They read them as thought pieces when they have time on the weekend. And so who has read it in PCO, I couldn’t tell you.


  141. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Again, the assessment group takes global trends, takes events, and tries to help predict what will happen. And they use, in this case, a lot of academic and historical research to build their assessment.


  142. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So as I said, I didn’t have a Domestic Intelligence Assessment Unit at PCO and all of the intelligence assessment or collectors in the community have very narrow mandates. ITAC does terrorist threat assessment. CSIS does assessments in line with their Act. RCMP does criminal assessments and collects open source for law enforcement purposes. I have a Foreign Intelligence Assessment Group that takes open source and covert information and can give me a picture of what’s going on. And not just me. Decision makers, the Prime Minister. I didn’t have an equal entity in PCO for open source domestic. And I asked the -- Martin Green, the Assistant Secretary of the Intelligence Assessment Group, to start trying to think about what this could look like. I was hoping -- this was a really interesting piece. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted in the minute, I wanted more, “Here’s what we’re seeing tomorrow.” But a very useful piece where he tried to be very thoughtful about what this could mean based on known aspects of protests, what we were seeing in other countries, conversations with colleagues in other countries about similar phenomena, and try to build an idea of what this could mean from an intelligence perspective, but what it would mean for government institutions, democracy, rule of law, the things that we need to consider as senior public servants and advising government.


  143. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, I don’t think so. Certainly there’s been a lot of focus on Ottawa because it was significant and it was on -- you know, at the footsteps of where our democracy is housed. This was a national situation and our concern about Windsor, as you’ve heard from other people, Coutts, the pop-up convoys across the country, the intelligence that we were getting about potentials in New Brunswick, Cornwall, the Peace Bridge, VIA Rail protests, that all came together to form our view of what was going on and raise our level of concern. So while, yes, Ottawa was a significant event, this was a national crisis.


  144. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That laws are obeyed in the Country of Canada, provincial, federal and municipal laws.


  145. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  146. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  147. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  148. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It has not; it’s an advisor.


  149. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do not.


  150. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do not, which I explained when I talked about what my role is.


  151. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I have not.


  152. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That is correct.


  153. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I didn’t say that about CSIS.


  154. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was.


  155. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    You're misinterpreting what CSIS said.


  156. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Right. But there isn’t -- what they said and the interpretation of what they said are two entirely different things. Their mandate is very narrow. And so section 2 of the CSIS Act is about the work that CSIS does and the intelligence they collect. And they said they are not the only arbiters of what is a national security threat in this country.


  157. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And so very true that they said that vis-a-vis their particular Act.


  158. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    You're going to receive legal briefs on the Emergencies Act and the legal interpretation and I’m not a lawyer. My understanding is that the Emergencies Act is assigned a meaning as defined in the CSIS Act but is not limited by the CSIS Act.


  159. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t agree.


  160. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No. it says it assigns meaning as the language is defined in the CSIS Act, but again you’ll get legal arguments.


  161. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, that’s not what I've said.


  162. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I mean that in terms of the Emergencies Act, the Governor-in-Council can consider more broadly than the intelligence collected by CSIS in determining a national security threat or situation or a public order emergency.


  163. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, I don’t agree.


  164. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    There are other definitions of threats to the security of Canada as we saw earlier.


  165. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Emergency Act allows for the Governor-in-Council to make a broad decision about public order emergencies.


  166. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think that this is an argument to have with lawyers.


  167. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s been discussed, yes.


  168. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  169. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    There were threats to people.


  170. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I would submit that in the social media era you cannot ignore threats against officials and public office holders just because they are on social media. That would be inexcusably negligent.


  171. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It depends on the situation and the context in which those threats arrive.


  172. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s one of the assessments.


  173. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    CSIS provides one input on intelligence, yes.


  174. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Another input.


  175. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Another input.


  176. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  177. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Again, we’ve been through this. There are other measures other than section 2 of the CSIS Act.


  178. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s part of the intelligence we were given. That’s intelligence that can be released.


  179. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, there’s section 38.


  180. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, the reality is that open source intelligence has to be anonymized so that we are not targeting specific people who are not under investigation. So it's not quite as simple as you're depicting it.


  181. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, but the Privacy Commissioner and the privacy laws of this country are such that they cannot then be -- their information cannot be scraped and be part of an assessment writ large, there has to be boundaries around that.


  182. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, around its analysis and collection.


  183. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And storage.


  184. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Some of it, yes.


  185. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    For criminal purposes, yes.


  186. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well -- so I would like to be a little more expansive in this answer if I may be. An analyst looks at a piece of information for very specific issues. When we, as people advising, and it's my Deputy Minister colleagues and I, to advise the Cabinet and decision-makers on the threat, the confidence in government institutions, the rhetoric, we have to look more broadly than its specific elements as described here. "Someone should kill the PM"; "Wouldn't it be great if someone killed the PM?" That says something, and it's not just random. Because they can't identify it to an individual and it doesn't say the day, it doesn't mean it doesn't matter.


  187. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, that's what I just said to you.


  188. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I just said to you that we ---


  189. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- that we should not be doing that, and so we have to find a legal framework for it. We are actually violently agreeing.


  190. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    We should, and I believe there is a gap in the legal framework.


  191. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And we have.


  192. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, no, I didn't say it was before Cabinet, I said it was produced.


  193. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And I believe it was before the convoy arrived.


  194. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I believe that it is an analysis done by an analyst, and that as the National Security Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister, when I see social media posts growing in number and aggressiveness of language that says somebody should kill the PM or somebody should kill the DPM, I have reason to be concerned beyond what the analyst is concerned about.


  195. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's a old version of the job description, and there's been some changes to it since then, but sure.


  196. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    We don't collect intelligence ourselves.


  197. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    What I said is that there is no one doing that in a broad sense. I saw it as a gap. I need to do something about it. I don't have the legal mandate right now to do it. The OSINT document you saw previously was all obtained through legal means as an analysis. What we need is a more -- we need a unit in PCO or Public Safety that is more akin to the Foreign Intelligence Assessment Unit that does -- takes covert and overt information and makes assessments. We don't have that domestically. It is a gap. I don't have a solution for it yet, and I won't be the sole person who decides whether it happens or not, but it is something that we need to look at and I'm exploring. That's my job.


  198. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It would be part of the Civil Service, just like the Foreign Intelligence Assessment Unit is part of the Civil Service.


  199. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    They were assessing foreign intelligence ---


  200. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- not domestic intelligence.


  201. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Who assess also foreign intelligence.


  202. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Who also assess foreign intelligence.


  203. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Who also assess foreign intelligence.


  204. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Some of them do, CSC does not. So just as those units all have mandates to collect and do some assessment, they -- we see that raw intelligence and we make assessments of it on the foreign side. I would like an equivalent on the domestic side. I don't have that now, I believe it is a gap.


  205. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Because I would like to look at, just as we do with foreign intelligence, all the various pieces in totality rather than institution by institution. It's part of our job to get a holistic picture.


  206. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Right. But I need to have people with the mandate to do that assessment, which is -- I coordinate the function and the issues, the issues management of what's going on in the national security community, but not necessarily their intelligence assessment.


  207. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So the Director of CSIS is not the only person who is responsible for security in this country. That's number one. You can certainly make that recommendation to the Governor in Council if it's useful to you, but there are more people than him involved in assessing national security in this country.


  208. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Privy Council Office is an established office that is the, essentially the Prime Minister's department. We coordinate information, we challenge, we provide policy advice to the Prime Minister, and I am part of that mechanism.


  209. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don't agree with how you've framed it.


  210. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don't agree with the basic premise of your challenge.


  211. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Foreign Intelligence and Assessment Group is a longstanding that -- no, parliament hasn’t given it authority ---


  212. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- but it exists, and it continues.


  213. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  214. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  215. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  216. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It is.


  217. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  218. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  219. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I did.


  220. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  221. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It did.


  222. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  223. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  224. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  225. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  226. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  227. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  228. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s a fair comment. The Clerk of the Privy Council, Jan Charette, decided that briefing a group of ministers who were largely the ministers in the responsible departments for the national picture and the Cabinet Committee, SSE, which was meeting quite regularly -- while they had been effective, it was now time for an IRG and the prime minister to direct in a different way.


  229. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, correct.


  230. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I would say that’s fair but it’s best raised with the Clerk of the Privy Council.


  231. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  232. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was referring to the reports of a negotiation between the mayor and convoy organizers.


  233. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  234. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  235. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  236. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  237. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  238. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  239. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  240. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  241. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That is correct.


  242. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  243. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I am.


  244. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, she is.


  245. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  246. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I believe so, yes.


  247. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I would.


  248. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  249. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s correct.


  250. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do recall it.


  251. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  252. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  253. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was.


  254. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I expressed that or it was sent to me?


  255. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, correct.


  256. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    He does.


  257. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, I remember reading that.


  258. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not that I am aware of, no.


  259. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes. So that’s the partner committee to the Safety, Security, and Emergency Management meeting where it looks at policy and emerging issues essentially about Canadian foreign and defence policy.


  260. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  261. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do remember that memo.


  262. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Correct, and partly because it was not for ADMNSOPS to make that determination broadly.


  263. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It has, yes.


  264. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  265. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  266. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  267. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    A dedicated minister amongst others.


  268. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Certainly not as the only option.


  269. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  270. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  271. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  272. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  273. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I recall it being said, yes.


  274. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t recall being the lead, but certainly, Deputy Minister Stewart was leading the discussions, who would be the interlocutor, names were put forward. I don't think I was ever identified as the single lead.


  275. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  276. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That is what Deputy Stewart said…


  277. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- is in that memo.


  278. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I can’t tell you that I recall the specific one you’re referring to. We had multiple timelines.


  279. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t recall the document you’re speaking of.


  280. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  281. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That doesn’t reflect the significant amount of engagement, consultation, work with provinces, Ontario in the particular case of Ottawa, which is what you’re concerned about, to try and enforce provincial law, the Highway Traffic Act, as an example. And so it wasn’t achieved, which is part of the problem.


  282. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And as was discussed earlier, the reasons why were explained.


  283. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I can’t really hear you.


  284. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s great. Thank you.


  285. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  286. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    A known actor or group, yes.


  287. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The definition as into -- yes, I think that it needs to be modernized, just as the Director of CSIS has indicated that the CSIS Act needs to be modernized. That element does as well.


  288. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I would.


  289. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Very narrow and outdated.


  290. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I’m not saying it should be broadened. I’m saying it should be modernized.


  291. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t disagree with that at all. I didn’t say it should be broadened. I said it should be modernized.


  292. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And that’s not what I’ve said.


  293. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I agree.


  294. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I think that both Acts were written in the 1980s and they both need to be modernized to reflect the reality of the nature of threats that are occurring in 2022.


  295. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I’m not disagreeing with the threshold. I’m just -- I’m speaking about an act that was written 30 years ago that needs to be modernized to reflect the reality of the kinds of threats that exist in the world today.


  296. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Right. But does allow for all the transparency of going through the Parliamentary process and for processes like this one.


  297. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So I am not saying that the government should have more expansive power or a lower threshold. I’m saying that the Act should not sit through the years untouched.


  298. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Federal Government legal opinion is different and there will be legal arguments to that end. I’m not the person to make that argument.


  299. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  300. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I actually don’t receive anything personally from Parliamentary Protective Services, but the rest are true.


  301. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, that’s exactly what I've said, that we need to understand trends but we don’t need to understand -- we need to animize that information so that we’re not tracking individuals. So I agree with you. I just think that we have to have an understanding of growing threats that are not yet at a threshold or a potential that they’re under CSIS investigation or a criminal investigation. That when there is something like a convoy as we saw here in Ottawa, and there is open source information that “We’re going to target a school and we’re going to do a slow roll around the school.” And that information maybe is being monitored by the police so they can do something. I don’t actually know. But there needs to be an understanding that the individual who said that isn’t under a criminal investigation. We’re not even sure that the behaviour is criminal but it says something about what is happening in the middle of a crisis or an incident. I don't want to know who said it. And I need a legal framework to do this. So it’s not monitoring. It’s not individuals. It’s understanding trends just as we do with foreign intelligence. And so I would like to agree with what you're saying but I don’t actually agree with your framing of it.


  302. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    In terms of what I am proposing is required.


  303. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Like all of my predecessors? That’s true.


  304. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, I would rely on experts for that information if I required it and I'm not sure I would.


  305. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  306. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  307. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  308. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  309. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  310. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  311. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s what the letter says, yes.


  312. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s what the email says.


  313. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not in this level of detail at all, nor have I ever seen this.


  314. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, I’m reading what’s said and agreement with you.


  315. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  316. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And the Deputy Minister of Public Safety, and the Minister of Public Safety in fact more than me.


  317. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  318. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    As much as I could.


  319. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I did not hear that evidence.


  320. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I did not hear her say that.


  321. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I can’t say that unequivocally. We knew that the RCMP was stretched. They had resources that they had to re-deploy from across the country to Ottawa and they also had responsibility for their protected units. So I would need the numbers in front of me exactly to recreate data to be able to answer that unequivocally. I’m willing to say that there was confusion about the number of RCMP provided.


  322. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    In that I don’t know the conversation between Commissioner Lucki and Minister Mendocino, I prefer not to comment.


  323. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  324. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Correct. At the time this was written I would not necessarily have seen that letter because it didn’t come to me.


  325. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  326. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  327. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I know in retrospect for the size the convoy grew to and the way it became entrenched into the city, Chief Sloly did not have the resources to manage it.


  328. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, that's correct.


  329. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Commissioner of the RCMP.


  330. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  331. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Without betraying what was discussed in Cabinet, I think that Ministers were very open to understand what OPS's needs were.


  332. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And that was the thought at the time.


  333. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  334. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I actually can't say that unequivocally.


  335. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  336. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I can agree with that. What I can't say is that I knew about the Mayor's letter or saw it at the time.


  337. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  338. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    But -- so I couldn't see them - - I -- yes.


  339. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Okay. We're agreeing.


  340. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  341. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  342. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  343. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    My one question would be did the OPS request 1,700 or 1,800 resources of the RCMP or of police support writ large? And I don't know the answer to that.


  344. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  345. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  346. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Thank you.


  347. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's true.


  348. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  349. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    As I have said earlier, not necessarily.


  350. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  351. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So I am cleared to see everything ---


  352. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- that's different than seeing everything.


  353. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    In the very narrow confines of CSIS Act.


  354. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yeah, there was a responsible act to do that analysis by CSIS.


  355. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It depends on the definition of "serious violence". There was continual violence in the streets of Ottawa, but there wasn't anything that you could point to like January 6th.


  356. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    As has been reported by the OPS and by the City and by the residents who have testified, harassment, people being followed, people being intimidated, the noise, the pollution ---


  357. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- the mess.


  358. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    There was some incidents that were early reported, but I don't know if they -- you know, the outcome was directly related to the convoy participants or just the general atmosphere in downtown at that point in time.


  359. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, not serious violence.


  360. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's already been established, no.


  361. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not as it's defined in the CSIS Act.


  362. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  363. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It's in a broad sense.


  364. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The information I receive from CSIS is.


  365. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  366. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No. That is -- you're misrepresenting. I would not brief on a threat where I did not have intelligence from one of the intelligence agencies that I had thoroughly discussed with the intelligence agencies.


  367. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, but it would be very much consulted with the heads of those agencies.


  368. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I am not.


  369. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I did.


  370. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  371. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  372. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No. CSIS is restricted in terms of the threshold they have to meet in order to open an investigation, to get a warrant, and pursue collecting intelligence. There are threats to Canada that are broader than that. Foreign interference is a threat to Canada, as an example.


  373. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That doesn't fall under that definition of the CSIS Act.


  374. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's not what I said. I said that the Public Order Emergency is assigned meaning by the CSIS Act but is not restricted by the CSIS Act.


  375. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And so a Public Order Emergency is broader than as defined by the CSIS Act.


  376. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, as we've seen, the answer to that, in my opinion, is no.


  377. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, as I said, you're going to receive legal arguments and I'm not going to respond to you - --


  378. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- in terms of the legal view. You're a lawyer; I am not. And our lawyers will be making arguments.


  379. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I've read the section.


  380. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, I've read the section.


  381. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  382. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Emergencies Act, when I arrived in PCO.


  383. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    In January.


  384. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I haven't -- 5, 10 years ago.


  385. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And you'd like me to read it?


  386. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    "Public Order Emergency means an emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and that is so serious as to be a national emergency."


  387. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    "As the meaning assigned by section 2 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act."


  388. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    There's a range of threats that need to be considered when you're talking about this country, economic security; the threat of IMVE; the rhetoric of threats against public figures; the inability to conduct a livelihood in the City of Ottawa -- as an example, the Coutts border blockade if we're going to speak about the specific example; the threat to public institutions and the undermining of the confidence in public institutions. Those things all constitute a threat.


  389. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    You asked.


  390. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    You asked me what did, and I answered your question.


  391. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And the lawyers will talk about the CSIS Act.


  392. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    At least.


  393. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It is. It's improved since this convoy, but at the time, yes.


  394. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was made aware of Operation Hendon after the convoy. I found out that ---


  395. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- we were -- that ITAC and other elements of the federal national security community did see some of their reports, but I didn’t, not directly.


  396. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I am now, yes.


  397. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It depends on where they're shared and how they're used.


  398. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was.


  399. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  400. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I wasn’t aware of the section, but yes.


  401. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  402. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, it would have been an unlawful protest.


  403. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I did.


  404. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  405. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Martin Loken at that time was the -- a deputy to the ambassador in Washington ---


  406. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- to our ambassador.


  407. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do now. I don’t recall it from the time.


  408. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I've seen it.


  409. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  410. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, I do, that the economic viability of the country is a national security issue and it's considered that on both sides of the border.


  411. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  412. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    It wasn’t -- I did not need to convey it. He raised it.


  413. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  414. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  415. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  416. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  417. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    This is somebody’s notes of what I said, rather than verbatim transcript. But yes.


  418. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  419. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    We were getting some information from Windsor; we were getting some information from the United States.


  420. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    And then the policing information, you would have to speak to Commissioner Lucki about. But in terms of working collectively with the two border agencies on both sides of the border, along with Homeland Security in the White House, people were working well, they had the same goal, and it was opening that bridge as quickly as possible.


  421. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I agree with that.


  422. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    But there were issues, jurisdictional issues that CBSA was bringing to our attention.


  423. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The City versus who is accountable for the port of entry. And I think that Mr. Ossowski spoke about that yesterday, as did Mr. Keenan.


  424. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I can’t say that unequivocally, no.


  425. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I’m not aware, but I was not a part of the consultation outside of the Federal Government.


  426. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, I would agree.


  427. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That is correct.


  428. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s fair.


  429. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Amongst others, yes.


  430. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  431. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yeah, I remember the document. It was incomplete and certainly not -- it was going to be incorporated into a broader document that was attached to the invocation material. And so this is a part of a response.


  432. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  433. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  434. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s fair.


  435. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I’ll agree with you on that. I don’t know off hand.


  436. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I don’t recall.


  437. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  438. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  439. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  440. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  441. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I was asking questions to be more expansive, to ensure that we answered a broad range of questions.


  442. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  443. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    No, but as you would know, in government, we do a lot of preparatory staff work to answer eventualities.


  444. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So I did not know at this point what the outcome was going to be of the Prime Minister’s decisions. We were preparing for every eventuality.


  445. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I had not. There were other parts of PCO who were more engaged at that point, because there was different work that needed to be done. The Intergovernmental Affairs Group, as an example, rather than me.


  446. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I’m not the Prime Minister’s sole advisor.


  447. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  448. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    He is not.


  449. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Not that I’m aware of.


  450. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yeah, he was doing research. I wouldn’t call it legal.


  451. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Thank you.


  452. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I would say the PPS is not in that -- the PPS is not in that core group.


  453. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Mike MacDonald deals with them more than I do.


  454. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    I do.


  455. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, it’s more than expertise and respect, it’s their legal authorities ---


  456. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    --- and mandates.


  457. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  458. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s fair.


  459. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  460. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That’s fair, yes.


  461. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  462. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  463. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  464. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Yes, on case-by-case events. And so what my concern is is broader than that. The RCMP may tell you -- and I’m giving you a number. It’s not necessarily the correct number -- that there were five actionable threats against the prime minister last year, and they investigated all of them. We have a concern in the intelligence -- in the security community at the deputy minister level, and certainly within PCO, about the rhetoric that is online. So five actionable threats that they investigate -- and they may arrest somebody, or they may warn somebody, or do any of the things that police agencies do -- but in fact there’s 1000, maybe 1500 threats of various nature that are going affect other things that the prime minister does. That says something about the discourse and the concern out there. And so it is a nuanced thing to try to explain but we have a responsibility to understand -- we have a responsibility to understand the country, and not on a case-by- case basis, on the mood, the tone. And some of that’s intelligence and some of it is other parts of -- various arms of government, but I think that we are a little blind on what is going on in society and we are -- in terms of the prime minister’s protection, as an example, we are seeing a change in the environment that he is in. We are seeing an increased level of anger and we’re -- it’s more than just him; it's other public officials as well. And we have a responsibility to understand that.


  465. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The RCMP will look at actionable intelligence. This is a different notion. It’s a different need. And the RCMP -- we can’t send everything to the RCMP. They have their core functions to execute.


  466. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  467. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely, yeah.


  468. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely. And so that’s the range of optionality that we are looking at in terms of understanding what the gap is and how we’re going to fill it. We don’t have a solution yet. We know there’s a gap. What is the best, most effective most efficient way of filling it where we can have a broad view rather than a narrow view.


  469. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  470. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    This would be the kind of information we would receive along with other information and do a broad assessment of.


  471. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Good evening.


  472. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    They wanted all mandates removed. And they were going to stay in Ottawa until they were removed. And there was an element of the convoy that wanted the Prime Minister removed and a proxy government formed.


  473. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Thank you. So as it has been said in my interview summary and in our institutional report PCO has that central coordinating function for the Government of Canada on a number of issues on just about every issue that goes through to Cabinet. We play a coordination function. We have a challenge function. And when there is a crisis -- and this has been for as long as the position has existed -- the NSIA on this kind of a crisis plays a lead role. Much of the organization of meetings and documentation and briefing to ministers was organized by Jackie Bogden who is the new Deputy Secretary for Emergency Management at PCO. But what we did was bring colleagues together with their experts to discuss and try to understand how the federal government could assist in the resolution of not only the blockade here in Ottawa but the various convoys that were occurring across the country. Because we’ve talked a lot about Ottawa today but we haven’t talked as much about the Ambassador Bridge, and we certainly haven't talked about Coutts. And then the continual popup convoys that were happening over this period in time. We used the forum of DMOC which you have heard that acronym to bring together the lead agencies. And we added additional departments. For example, the Deputy Minister of Justice joined us for many of our discussions. And because PCO was so very involved at every level in terms of the management of the national crisis, I invited other deputy secretaries to come to DMOC and certainly the clerk and the deputy clerk had a standing invitation. We wanted to have as broad a view as we could of what was going on and why it was happening and how the federal government could use existing authorities and resources to respond. You've heard the discussion of the tow truck strategy. Well, that came out of discussions at DMOC. The work that Deputy Minister Stewart was leading on engagement, that came to DMOC for original discussion before it went to Cabinet. But that was where we brainstormed, aired ideas, and assigned tasks to various people and departments, and PCO, to follow up. Most of the work was tasked from DMOC down into ADM and SOPs and they went off and engaged because ADMs are that engine that do that level of work. We briefed ministers almost daily, the core group of ministers. We did have formal Cabinet meetings as you've seen. The Safety, Security, and Emergency Management Committee, Canada and the World -- we used Canada and the World because there was already a scheduled meeting to discuss Ukraine. The right group of ministers were there so we briefed this as well. We had briefings to the Prime Minister and then the IRG was invoked. And the full Cabinet meetings leading up in between SSE, Canada and the World, and the IRG, were also the vehicle to get information to the Prime Minister. We tried to be very methodical in how we tracked what was on the table to review, to pursue, to engage with provincial and municipal colleagues on and that was the trackers that you’ve seen in the evidence, developed out of there. So I did not tell any deputy minister what they should do nor what they should not do. We would agree on courses of action, what ministers were going to be briefed, how we were going to engage ministers, and the plans to try and use federal authorities and work with provincial authorities to resolve individual situations. But it is a coordination group where we talk -- we discuss operational issues and each department goes back and does their own thing and reports back in. And it’s a relatively effective use of time and energy. And it became every day going through department by department. Yesterday you said this; what’s changed? What are you doing tomorrow? Where are we?


  474. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Well, I would like to take credit but it’s the Clerk of the Privy Council who actually told the community that when you're in the security environment, you get used to crises and you get used to protests and you get used to reading online threats, those kinds of things. She wanted us to think differently and think more broadly. And to understand this situation although it was acknowledged by the security deputy ministers, was unique in terms of its expanse across the country, that there was a thread across all of the incidents that said something and that we needed to look at it from that perspective as well as the individual resolution of problems. Yes, the tow truck strategy is an example that was very very important. But there was a bigger broader role for the federal government and we needed to look at that.


  475. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    There isn't a relationship other than most of the Deputy Ministers at DMOC they're ministers or members of the SSE Committee. And so there was a one-to-one briefing from the Deputies to their Ministers, the Ministers would go and prepare to SSE.


  476. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    DMOC? It didn't stop.


  477. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  478. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So it just -- moving to the IRG brought a focus from the Prime Minister, and it was very directive of "What are you doing Transport Canada? Minister Alghabra, work with your provincial colleagues to achieve X, Y, and Z", and that became the tracker. So Track 1 was anything we could do under existing legislation and with existing tools, and Track 2 became what new could you use to help resolve this?


  479. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  480. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Until revocation.


  481. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    The Deputy Homeland Security -- Deputy NSA for Homeland Security is Liz Sherwood-Randall. She reached out to me to say, "we have a concern about the Ambassador Bridge." You've heard that concern from others. She said nothing different than what has already been heard. The President had been hearing from auto companies, he'd been hearing from governors. What was the situation? What could I tell her, and how did they -- how could they help?


  482. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Absolutely concerned, but no pressure. They'd experienced their own protests. They knew they were complex. Could we learn from their experiences and could we keep them informed and as we were working this, and if they could help in any way they would.


  483. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    My assessment was that this was an entrenched movement; that the convoys were feeding off of each other; that they were causing significant economic instability; that the violent rhetoric was increasing rapidly and exponentially; that the number of threats against public figures were increasing; that we were seeing, I don't know if I've said this, seeing increased IMVE rhetoric that was concerning. Our concern on that front is not that any of the organisers of these various groups were going to take action themselves, but they were going to inspire a lone wolf. And our experience in Canada is that of the injuries and deaths that have been caused by ideologically motivated individuals, none of them have been known, they've all been inspired by online movements and rhetoric to do something and to act. And we have profound concern about that. Coutts was a point in time of huge concern because we'd been told there were weapons found in Coutts. I can't say that anybody was surprised there were weapons. We expected weapons to show up in various locations, or anticipated that they could, but that it was of the magnitude that it was was a significant concern. And the same language was being used in Ottawa. OPS said there were weapons in some of those rigs. Well, what did that mean? One person had a gun or that there was another group similar to Coutts? What we didn't know was as significant as what we did know. And we were at the point where we were going into the fourth weekend because we were through the third weekend without resolution, and in fact, it was growing. Ambassador Bridge, yes, moving towards being resolved, but intel every single day that new convoys were being formed to take back the bridge or they were going to take the Peace Bridge or they were going to do both. There were convoys coming from across the country to reinforce Ottawa. If that had become violent, and of course we're working on inabsolute information and nothing is -- there is no intelligence that says tomorrow there is going to be an attack. But if it had become violent, knowing what we know now, there was not the police on the ground to manage it. And so you have to work in a world where you don't have absolutes and you have to use your best judgement on what to do, and what had to happen was it had to end.


  484. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)



  485. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    That's correct.


  486. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    For the reasons I described earlier. That we -- if the powers existed in legislation they were not being used or couldn't be used, and that we needed to take swift and decisive action to bring this national crises to an end. We needed to compel tow trucks. We needed to have an exclusion zone so that people could no longer join the convoy. And the funding and the logistics chain that supported, particularly in Ottawa, but in other locations as well, the funding was significant, and so we needed to understand the money. And I know that Deputy Minister Sabia explained that earlier today. The combination of the tools that were put into the Emergency Act, time limited, as restrictive as possible, and as transparent as possible, was determined to be by the Governor in Council the most appropriate action to take at that moment in time to end what was going on across the country.


  487. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    So mis- and dis-information is a very hot topic, and everybody presumes that the mis- and dis-information has to come from foreign sources and be foreign interference. And so there was a question that was discussed at one point about whether, you know, Russia was fomenting the dis-information. The mis- and dis-information, mis- and dis-information it could be said is at the root of some of this problem of the convoy and the anger about vaccines and mandates and masks. The problem with it is that it occurs in the social media space and threads pick up on each other and they generate more. And so if you believe mis-information that's all you're going to see because you search for it and the algorithms feed it to you. We're actually working with social media companies to understand how the algorithms feed mis- and dis-information, and more significant, terrorist information that's come out of what happened in Christchurch. And it's quite well-known that Christchurch call. And misinformation means that people -- and disinformation -- have one source of information and it continuously feeds upon each other. We heard misinformation during this hearing when somebody mentioned that they were not going to put DNA-altering medication in them. There is no DNA-altering medication, but it’s believed. And so it made it very difficult to try and build a fact base for health officials, for police officials. There was misinformation during the convoy, for example, that the prime minister had signed a letter. He had not, but it circulated through the convoy here in Ottawa like wildfire. Absolutely incorrect but it became fact for people, and it becomes fact very easily, and that sowed some of the seeds of discontent that we have seen.


  488. Jody Thomas, NSIA (GC-PCO)

    Thank you, sir.