Marco Mendicino

Marco Mendicino spoke 471 times across 1 day of testimony.

  1. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  2. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Marco Mendicino; M-a- r-c-o, M-e-n-d-i-c-i-n-o.


  3. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  4. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have, yes.


  5. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  6. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s correct.


  7. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I was first elected in 2015, and have been serving as the Member of Parliament for Eglington-Lawrence, which is a constituency in north Toronto. Have been re-elected twice, both in 2019 and in 2021. And prior to getting into politics, I was a practising lawyer in Ontario, where I served for about a decade as a federal prosecutor, and then subsequently as a private practitioner, as well as counsel at the Law Society of Ontario.


  8. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, this is a position where the job description is in the title. So my paramount responsibility is to ensure that we maintain public safety, and the only way that you can do that is to ensure that laws are upheld. But beyond that, and specifically in the context of this Inquiry and in response to the events of last winter, I had a number of responsibilities, including receiving information and sharing information from law enforcement to colleagues within the federal government; making sure that we were staying in touch and engaging with different levels of government, both provincially and municipally; making sure that we gave advice to the government with regards to the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act and then subsequently to revoke the Emergencies Act; being a communicator on behalf of the government to Canadians to keep them apprised of the situation last winter. And a number of other roles, but those are the core ones.


  9. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do recall that. By the end of January there were reports about a massive protest that was mobilizing from across the country, and so to be sure that we were, again, kept aware of how police were going to respond to that protest, we asked for briefings.


  10. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, it was.


  11. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That information was conveyed to me and a number of other colleagues at Cabinet level. And my immediate reaction was to question the quality of the intelligence about the duration with which this protest was going to occur. One of the things that struck me was that there were reported -- reports about a significant number of vehicles that were coming from across the country, and it certainly seemed to me that just given the amount of time that it would take to Ottawa and other locations in the country where these demonstrations would occur, that there may very well be an intention to stay longer than the short period of time that some of those initial briefings had suggested that they would stay there. Combined with some of the public statements around the original manifesto, which in my opinion was the spark for the so-called Freedom Convoy, and the stated political and ideological objectives within that, a document to force the government to reverse course on pandemic policies or else to see the government overthrown or resign suggested to me that there may be an entrenchment. And as time went on, we certainly started to probe those questions more once they arrived at the end of January.


  12. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s correct.


  13. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. And if I could just be permitted to expand ---


  14. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- briefly? Because you touched on a few important points. And if I could just ask for the technicians to scroll back up? So right under the words “On January 22[nd], 2022…” there’s a number of bullet points that I just want to shed some additional light on. So the fact that the convoy was attracting individuals with different grievances was one of the phenomenon around the expressly stated ideological, political, and in some cases, extreme stated objectives of the Freedom Convoy. And this was something that, again, was a recurring theme in our discussions with law enforcement, with the security and intelligence community, the fact that it was pulling in people with different grievances, not just in relationship to the pandemic, but grievances regarding the government and other democratic institutions. Similarly, the potential for violence was stated at the outset. I mean, there was a number of very public statements by individuals like Pat King who had said that this could end in bullets or that it would end in bullets potentially, was a single of intent, at least that was my opinion, that certainly not all, I mean there were many thousands of Canadians who participated in these demonstrations and in the blockade who were there for entirely legitimate and lawful purposes, but some were prepared to become violent. There’s a bullet point there about threats to public figures. We were concerned about whether or not the blockade might target the Prime Minister. And then as you will have heard by now, there were subsequent many threats that were made towards not only public -- elected public figures, but equally law enforcement and representatives of the media, which to me, again, signalled that this was a movement that in some cases was prepared to attack our democratic institutions to force change around policies.


  15. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s exactly correct. And the RCMP had briefed in the early days of the convoy, certainly within the first week, that there needed to be a significant change in the security posture regarding the Ministers that are in that paragraph. And in part, I think that was a response to the heightened degree of posts that were violent in nature, the overtly criminal threats that were being made against the lives and the security and safety of identifiable public figures. And so as a result of that, the security detail did change around a number of both me and my colleagues in Cabinet.


  16. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And I think that that is worth emphasizing as well, because in addition to the security that was provided to Ministers and Cabinet, there was a heightened security posture around the Hill and around being able to access Parliament. And indeed, one of my main concerns was that given, again, some of the stated objectives by some, including the potential to become violent, that we were just returning from winter session, and the first day of the resumption of Parliament coincided with one of the early days in the blockade and subsequent occupation right here in Ottawa. And I was worried about a significant number of people being able to both ingress and egress from the Hill. And so there was a heightened security posture so that we could continue to host Parliament, or to hold Parliament. It was a very important priority that Canadians see that the business of government continue, not withstanding the blockade and the convoy. But there were challenges. And I had many conversations with Parliamentarians, disproportionality women, I would point out, who were the recipient of harassment, intimidation, expressions of hate, through the convoy. So that additional security was very much driven by the reality on the ground.


  17. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    All of the above. So it was a combination of what we were seeing on the ground in the activities of the convoy, and probably the most aggressive demonstration of their presence was the parking of, ultimately, hundreds of trucks on Wellington Street, which is one of the main arteries that runs through the Parliamentary Precinct. And again, I’ll just pause here. I mean, that visual suggested to me that we were going to be in it for quite some time, rather than just the weekend. But I’ll come back to that. We were -- I’m sure that the RCMP were taking into account what they were seeing online, what they were hearing from various Parliamentarians regarding potential security threats, and so for all those reasons, again, security was elevated not only for Cabinet, but for Parliamentarians and for staff who were working in the Parliamentary Precinct.


  18. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Mike Jones is my Chief of Staff. And the email that you had put up, which is dated Friday, January 28th, at about 5:38 p.m. reflects the questions that I intend to put to the table. So looking at latest estimate on numbers, both in terms of vehicles and people, trying to ascertain whether or not there was any intelligence of individuals who may be on a watch list regarding threats to national security. The third question that I put in the email there, which is written as “latest on what if scenarios”, what I was really, I think, foreshadowing, was a discussion around potential contingencies. Like what if the convoy doesn’t disengage? What if they don’t leave? And from a very early point, as I had said earlier, had concerns that this was not just going to be a one or a two-day event, that it was going to last much longer. And so I wanted to extract from the community, the law enforcement community, the intelligence community what do we do if that’s the case, how do we make sure that we keep public safety and what are the contingencies around that.


  19. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Very good.


  20. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think it was understood early on that we were going to need to take a whole of government approach responding to the convoy, so the initial group that you just highlighted of Ministers was eventually expanded and then ultimately, as I’m sure we’ll get into, the Prime Minister convened a meeting of the Incident Respondent Group which included a number of others. But I should highlight the two last points which are in the email to Mike Jones, which suggests that, at the time, I was also concerned about making sure that we were staying up on threat assessments as well to Senators as well as the Governor General in addition to elected Parliamentarians. And finally, I wanted to get a sense of what outreach was being done to the organizers. And my thinking there was let’s try to allow for the space for a lawful protest, keep it within the boundaries of the law because it is a hallmark of our democracy that people can take opposing different views. And so wanted to make sure that there was come lines of communication with the organizers of the convoy from the early days.


  21. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. Brian was the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.


  22. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  23. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    My recollection is that he was out of Ottawa for some period of time and then would be returning to Ottawa and to ultimately the House of Commons. And so I was -- I was outlining my concern about his ability to -- for him and his staff and the RCMP that work with him to protect him to get into and out of Parliament safely because by then -- and the date of this text is Sunday, February the 6th, so we’re fully now, I think, about a week into the convoy. And this would have been after the first weekend. And the concerns that I was expressing was that by that first weekend, it was my opinion that it was virtually impossible to enforce the law on Wellington Street. Given the rampant behaviour, not only the noise that was being made by the excessive honking of horns well into the evening, but some of the early reports -- and again, this -- bear in mind, this is Sunday, February 6th. By then there were a number of press conferences that the Ottawa Police Service had held expressing serious concerns around the reports of intimidation, harassment and violence. If memory serves, I think there was a press conference where the Ottawa Police Service had indicated that there were reports of firearms that had been brought into the nation’s capital and subsequently -- again, I’m going from memory, but there was at least one arrest that was reported of somebody that was making their way potentially to the convoy where a firearm was seized. You know, there were efforts, I think, by law enforcement to try and get the situation under control, but they were overwhelmed. So there were a series of events leading up to the text that Mike Jones had sent to Brian Clow that had -- that had led to my concerns being elevated about our ability to restore public safety on Wellington Street in the nation’s capital, which is the seat of the federal government. I would also just add that my concerns were not just about Ottawa, that by then there were already reports as well about borders being blockaded. And I would just recall for you and for Judge Rouleau that, in my job as Minister of Public Safety, I’m not just looking at the nation’s capital or the Parliamentary precinct; I’m looking at the entire country. And so by then, a number of critical infrastructure and borders had become either the target of or, in fact, blockades which had a significant impact on critical supply chains. So there was a lot that was, I think -- I’m interpreting and extracting a little bit exactly from the language, but I think that’s what Mike Jones was conveying to Brian Clow.


  24. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    At that point, I think, looking at offering additional resources to local police and, you know, there had been informal requests communicated to me and to my office for additional RCMP services which we provided on a number of different occasions prior to the invocation of the Act, so that was certainly one of the other potential measures that we could explore, which was how do we get more, you know, boots on the ground to help the Ottawa Police Service and let’s not forget the Ontario Provincial Police, who were the first stop if OPS -- the Ottawa Police Service could not -- could not restore public safety. And so that’s what I believe I was foreshadowing at the time.


  25. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  26. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  27. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  28. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, from the federal level of government, myself, Minister Blair, our officials, some of our political staff, Mayor Watson, I believe his Chief of Staff, and I'm trying to recall whether or not there were any officials from the Ontario Government, not elected or not. But I mean, the majority of the participants were the political levels from the City of Ottawa, the Federal Government, and supporting staff and officials.


  29. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would agree that at that particular point in time that there was a common desire to have Minister Jones, or additional representation from Ontario, at the tripartite meeting for the purposes of cooperating and coordinating the response to the convoy in Ottawa. Now, I would add that that's not to say that the Province was not engaged at all, and I know, for instance, that Premier Ford had made a number of very strong statements about the state of the convoy, condemning it, and saying, you know, it was out of control. He pronounced very definitively and declaratively that it was time for people to go home. If I recall correctly, that would've been before this tripartite. There were other conversations that I was having bilaterally around the tripartite. So I would say despite the fact that they were not at that table, there were still conversations with Ontario, but yes, we would like to have seen them at the tripartite, there's no doubt about that.


  30. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, that's a very important question because the principle of operational independence has to guide the relationship between police and the elected branch of government. And again, from my past professional experience as a prosecutor and as a practicing lawyer, I would have been very familiar, precisely because I had worked closely with police in a variety of different cases and the need to respect that principle at all times. So I wanted to be sure that even as though we were asking questions of police to provide some detail and some clarity around how they intended to restore public safety, that at all times it was respectful of that principle. At the same time, I do think it bears emphasising that police and the elected branch of government do not operate in two silos, and nor should we. That there needs to be a dialogue between both branches to be sure that police have the resources that they need, which was one of my core responsibilities in the response to the blockade, as well as potentially additional tools to respond to the unique and unprecedented nature of this convoy, which is something that we ultimately came to. So I know you may have more questions about operational independence, but I wanted to flag really early on that, you know, as we were asking questions we were mindful of that. The other thing I would just stress if I could is that in ultimately forming the opinion that we needed to invoke the Emergencies Act, one of my main concerns was the inability to enforce the law adjacent to critical infrastructure, and that would've included Parliament. And the nature of the Parliamentary Precinct is such that Wellington Street falls within the jurisdiction of the Ottawa Police Service. So I was certainly trying to reconcile in my mind that these are federal democratic institutions, but we did not have total jurisdiction over that space. In other words, it wasn't at the sole or exclusive discretion of the RCMP, which is the federal police service, to go and assert itself on Wellington Street to bring the situation back into control. So we had to navigate different levels of government, including municipal and provincial, because Ottawa Police Service has that jurisdiction as of this moment, and if they did not have the resources to respond to the occupation at that point, including the ability to remove hundreds of large vehicles on Wellington Street; including the ability to remove a crane, which had been parked right adjacent to the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office; including the ability to simply enforce the law, then they could then next go to -- they then, statutorily, under the Ontario Police Services Act, could go to the Ontario Government to ask for the Ontario Provincial Police Service to backstop any gaps there. But I would point out that there is no statutory link beyond that to go from the Ontario Police Services Act to the Emergencies Act, and I know that's something we're to come to.


  31. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    All of that. It was really to make sure that all of the key players at all three levels of government were able to navigate around the jurisdictional challenges and complexities, but beyond that, the situation on the ground, which, you know, by then, as I -- as you pointed out in an earlier exhibit and text, was on the -- was -- it was on the brink of being completely ungovernable, if not already by then.


  32. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Samantha Khalil works in the Prime Minister's Office, and I believe her -- she works in the Issues Department of the Prime Minister's Office.


  33. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s correct.


  34. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, that’s right.


  35. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, again, as you pointed out, these are my colleague Minister Blair’s words that are being captured in a summary of a readout. I believe he was referring to the fact that at the point in time that we were having these trilateral conversations that there was a lot of attention that was being placed on both the City of Ottawa as well as the federal government, and, you know, I believe he was conveying a perception that Ontario wasn’t at the table at the time. And so, again, what we really were driving at here -- and as I think the summary communicates -- was an effort to bring Ontario to the table. And I had reached out to Minister Jones, had not heard back at that point. I believe, if memory serves, I was able to get in touch with her shortly after that time, but it was really a full-court press to try and have everybody at the trilateral table because, as we’ve discussed, there were operational complexities and jurisdictional complexities, and to the extent that we could be all aligned, then that would help to restore public safety.


  36. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  37. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That is a critically important intervention by Chief Sloly at the time, for a couple of reasons. First, he’s flagging as a very serious concern that locally they are outnumbered. And he says that it is exceeding their -- or he suggests that it is very close to exceeding their current resources, which is why they had asked for some additional help, including from the RCMP, which by then we would have responded to. There were a couple of installations prior to the invocation of the Act that I think numbered in the hundreds; somewhere between, you know, 200 at the outset and then eventually getting up to about 500 all told. There were questions about exactly how those resources were being deployed by the RCMP in conjunction with Ottawa Police Service, but the real important point is he’s saying, “We’re outnumbered, and we need help.” That’s what I took from that intervention. The other thing that he mentioned in that intervention is Coventry. And through a number of briefings in the leadup to the invocation of the Emergencies Act there was a discussion of two different groups that were at play in the blockades. There was a large group, again, of Canadians who were exercising their lawful right to protest against certain policies by the government, but then there was another group that had other, more extreme objectives that was much more sophisticated and organized. And it’s my recollection that that latter group was interspersed in a number of different locations very tactically but that there was a concentration of that latter group at Coventry Road that was made up, potentially, of individuals who had previously served in either the military or in law enforcement. And that, to me, raised a concern, a very serious concern about some of the counteroperations that could be run by that group to overwhelm legitimate law enforcement. And that, I think, is exactly what Chief Sloly is getting at when -- you know, if numbers are being reported publicly about how many additional reinforcements are being sent in, then the word could go out to call for more protesters to descend into the nation’s capital or, you know, again, quite frankly, to deploy across the country. And again, I would hasten to add, this was not just about Ottawa; this was about the entire country where we would see the levels of protest go up and go down. And the time that I thought was most dangerous were typically the weekends, and that’s when there was a surge of people who came and descended into the Parliamentary precinct and that -- if I read Chief Sloly right -- was in part a tactical decision that was being informed by some within the group who had the skills and the experience to overwhelm whatever police resources were available at the time.


  38. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, my understanding was that Ottawa Police Service did not have the resources to respond at the time. And therefore they were putting out a request for assistance from different levels of government and different levels of law enforcement, including the RCMP, and that is one of -- so my response as Minister of Public Safety is, “Let’s get you what you need. Let’s get you the additional boots on the ground.” And in dialogue with the Commissioner of the RCMP, we were responsive to that request on more than one occasion, deploying additional RCMP members to assist to restore public safety here in the nation’s capital. There was also other requests, including in Alberta, but we can come back to that.


  39. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I wouldn’t say that there was necessarily that strict sequencing. My job as Minister of Public Safety was to be responsive to the requests that were coming in from the City of Ottawa vis-à-vis the Ottawa Police Service. And so we facilitated those requests. They were not -- you know, they were not necessarily subject to the Ontario Provincial Police responding at the time. I wanted to be as supportive as I could. I was very much sympathetic to the plight of the residents in Ottawa; I was very concerned for their safety and security, and we were beginning to see counterprotests manifesting because I think at that time, residents felt that they had to take matters into their own hands. That was extremely concerning to me because I thought that it represented a significant risk of more serious violence as a result of frustration and fatigue, and we were seeing an abundance of expressions of that in reporting and on social media. So I wanted to be as supportive as I could to the City of Ottawa and to the Ottawa Police Service, and Chief Sloly, I think rightfully, was flagging his concerns about a resource capacity and potential counteroperations that were being run by the blockade and the occupation.


  40. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It was a broader concern that was national in scale. At the end of the day, in my opinion, this was an illegal protest that was national in scale that occurred at critical infrastructure, including a number of borders and ports of entry, including at legislative assemblies, including here at the seat of the Federal Government. And the initial responses of law enforcement to get the situation back under control were clearly overwhelmed, and as a result of that, the consequences were devastating to people, to the economy, to our international relations. And so at all times, I was assessing, not any one of these events in isolation, but rather, the situation in its totality. And when looking at the timing of it and the concurrence of all of these events in the same short critical period of time, the types of targets where the individuals were showing up for the express purposes of creating a disruption and undermining public safety, and the type of tactics that were being used, which was through sheer size and force of people, of vehicles, and behaviour, that this was a very singular and unprecedented event. So being able to assess all of that in its totality was very much part of my job to restore public safety, and to maintain it.


  41. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It came from observation. What I was seeing with my own eyes on the ground was that when police tried to enforce the law they were overwhelmed, they were swarmed. There were reports about there being threats being made to them as they tried to do their job. And they were clearly identifiable, in uniform, you know, indicating that, you know, it was time to go home. And these were not just interactions. I mean, they ultimately did lead to hundreds of criminal charges being laid, including assaulting a police officer, which is a very serious offence to be charged with. This was all a counter reaction to the reaction of law enforcement to try and restore public safety on the ground, and it wasn't just in Ottawa. It was at ports of entry in -- at the Pacific Highway, in Surrey in British Columbia, where again, there were very clear statements by Canada Border Service agents as well as local law enforcement there through the RCMP, that it was time to go home. And in the face of those instructions, not only did numbers -- participants double down, I mean there is a very notorious incident involving a large vehicle that was painted with military fatigues that tried to crash a barrier. To me, that poses a serious threat of violence. And I think we'll come to Coutts, Alberta, which was, again, a very, and arguably the most egregious risk that coincided with the blockade. But I was at all times both using the observations that I was making for myself as well as the advice and the intelligence that I was receiving in my capacity as Minister of Public Safety.


  42. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  43. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    A little collegial support at a very stressful time. (LAUGHTER)


  44. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think he might resent that assessment.


  45. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  46. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    He's the Attorney General of Ontario. He's Minister Lametti's provincial counterpart.


  47. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, again, I mean I'm -- you're asking me to interpret or infer why Minister Lametti has reached out to Doug Downey. I -- the best answer that I can offer is I believe he is reaching out to a provincial counterpart to understand what Ontario's response is to the situation, not only in Ottawa, but elsewhere, including in Windsor at the Ambassador Bridge. And by then the blockade was causing significant interruption to the economy and thousands of people were temporarily laid off, businesses were impacted in the auto manufacturing sector. So I think he's trying to get -- gain some understanding from the Attorney General of Ontario about perhaps what advice he is offering to the Ontario government. Again, I'm drawing some inferences here, but I think it's a combination of that, but I think more broadly, just to keep lines of communication strong between the Federal Government and the Government of Ontario.


  48. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah. No, actually there it is right there. Yes, so I would say that was my thinking at the time, was to try and keep lines of communication open and to be sure that we had some understanding about, you know, what advice may be provided to the Ontario Government.


  49. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'm sorry, what -- which ---


  50. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Which document am I looking at here?


  51. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    In the context of the blockades? I -- not off the top of my head ---


  52. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- at this moment.


  53. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  54. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    You know, again, if we could have the document just scroll back up to the top? I just want to -- February the 7th, Jim Watson -- I agree with you. I think that the word there may be misspelled and is referring to an interlocutor. And, you know, beyond that, I couldn’t say much more about that particular note. But I did have a conversation with Minister Jones.


  55. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It was around that time.


  56. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Around that time or shortly thereafter.


  57. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  58. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    There was definitely some colourful vernacular towards the end of that call. I’m happy to say that both Minister Jones and I still enjoy a very productive and positive rapport. But the real thrust of the call was to engage Minister Jones to understand exactly where her thinking and where the Government of Ontario’s thinking was at in responding to the request of Ottawa Police Service to get additional resources, and more broadly speaking, to restore public safety on the ground. And you know, I think certainly by the end of the call, it was quite clear that the inability of law enforcement using existing authorities to restore public safety on the ground was of increasing concern to me in my capacity as the Minister of Public Safety, as well as the Federal Government, and we wanted to be sure that Ontario was exercising all of its capacity to support not only Ottawa, but other communities as well in this province, including Windsor. So it was an important engagement. It was obviously a very stressful time and, you know, I think that we could all be forgiven for some rather blunt language. I’m sure, you know, we’ve all heard it in various interactions. But having those lines of communications open was critically important at that time.


  59. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    The Premier called me, and by then, again, it’s important to place the timing and the chronology of this call into the broader context. This would have been February 9th, so we’re now beyond a week in to the occupation here in the Nation’s capital and with significant interruptions at critical infrastructure and borders, including at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, at the Windsor/Detroit border, which quite clearly is in the Province of Ontario. The Premier called me to I think express a few things, and the read out is there on the screen. But one, I think he was calling to keep lines of communication open with the Federal Government. Two, he was indicating to me that his Chief Public Health Officer was going to be going out in the very short term to communicate the end of vaccine passports and the end of mandates. But he also was very supportive and said that he was prepared to stand with the Prime Minister, which I took as, again, a very constructive suggestion to show unity across different levels of government responding to what was then a very urgent state of crisis and emergency, and having that demonstration of solidarity I thought would reinsure Ontarians and Canadians. I also did say to him that I would relay what I interpreted to be a bit of a nudge by Premier Ford around the Federal Government’s posture around pandemic policy to the Prime Minister, more broadly just the fact that the call had occurred. And I did take the opportunity to express to him two really important things. You know, first, I was really concerned about restoring public safety at critical infrastructure, including the Ambassador Bridge, and, you know, I also said I was concerned that even if there was an announcement around a change in pandemic policy, that they may not leave. I think in the end, that proved to be true. And then finally, I said that we needed Sylvia, and there I’m referring to Minister Jones at the table and I’m referring to the tripartite table, and I ask that the Premier instruct her to be there.


  60. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    My interpretation from Premier Ford saying that to me directly was that he wanted to show solidarity with the Federal Government in responding to this emergency. And I thought that that was a constructive suggestion, because it would reassure Ontarians and Canadians more broadly that different levels of government were working together to restore public safety to keep people safe, which was my job. And my request to him to have Minister Jones attend the tripartite was an effort to show that alignment at all levels of government, not only from Premier to the Prime Minister, but equally from -- at the Ministerial level in the portfolio of Public Safety, because by being at the same table at the same time, we could really troubleshoot issues together, including, again, some of the operational challenges that police were having, again not only in Ottawa, but right across the province, and equally, some of the jurisdictional complexities, and whether or not there were any other measures or tools that we could offer from the elected side of the government to police if it were necessary.


  61. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  62. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It wasn't. And again, I think we saw subsequently in the leadup to the invocation of the Emergencies Act that following the First Minister's meeting, that the Prime Minister and Premier Ford were very much on the same page about the necessity of having to invoke the Emergencies Act. And at that point, the Government had not yet taken a final decision with regards to a pandemic policy in specific regards to vaccines.


  63. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah, here again, this is a very important question. First, I can't speak for the Deputy Minister of Public Safety or the Solicitor General in Ontario, but from where I sat, the Premier of Ontario actually showed very important leadership in the early days of the blockade, going out publicly saying that this had no longer -- was a lawful protest and that people needed to go home. And that was a signal, I think, to any fair-minded individual who abides by the law that the situation was no longer safe. I would also point out that, you know, in the context of the discussion around operational independence, and I've obviously given this a fair bit of reflection since the occupation, and I did touch on it a little bit earlier, that there are important boundaries that should not be crossed by elected officials, and for good reason. We do want to safeguard against the politicization or making partisan important and independent decisions, which are made by law enforcement and the prosecution services around the country, so that we can preserve the integrity of the administration of justice. And at all times, we adhere to that principle in the federal government. That having been said, there does need to be a dialogue and there is a dialogue between police and the elected branch of government when it comes to providing additional resources and tools. And I can offer a number of, you know, very concrete examples, not only in the general, but in the specific context of our response to the blockade. So if I could, when I received a call at the beginning of February from the Premier of Alberta, the then Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, one of the concerns that he'd expressed is that he and Alberta did not possess either the resources or the tools to clear the blockade at Coutts, which had mobilized pretty much since the end of January or beginning of February. And as part of the federal government's response to that situation, I authorized, under Article 9.3 of the existing Police Services Agreement between Canada and Albert, the deployment of additional police resources. That is a very concrete example of how we have customized through convention the relationship between the elected government and the authorities that are exercised through this office, the Minister of Public Safety, in response to the operational decisions that are taken by police to restore public safety. I would say more broadly, there, you know, are other important examples where elected representatives that occupy this office are responsive to the needs of police around tools. You know, be it in, you know, responding to either this situation or others, and obviously, there are the priorities around the foreign deployment of RCMP in different countries, for example, in Ukraine, which are priorities which can be set by the elected branch of government where conventional police forces are deployed. So I guess my broader point is that both in the specific context of the blockade, but even beyond in the general, there does need to be a dialogue, and there was a dialogue between the elected branch of government and the police who were exercising operational independence at every time to ensure that we could get them the additional resources that they need in the parts of the country where they needed it. And again, I emphasize and stress, this was not just an isolated incident, that these events were occurring across the country, so that we could restore public safety.


  64. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  65. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do, and I wanted to be sure that as colleagues around the Cabinet table were expressing the same concerns that I had, that others had about the ineffectiveness of existing authorities and resources to restore public safety up to that point, and we are approaching now two weeks into the blockade, that nevertheless, we should not violate the principle of operational independence. Because, again, just situate yourself in our shoes for just a moment. Our paramount concern is restoring public safety. And by then, there were countless reports of the very dire consequences that had been visited upon Canadians. But that could never be a license for assuming the roles and the responsibilities of police when it came to making the tactical and operational decisions around how to restore public safety. So it was important to strike a balance between respecting that principle, but also, fulfilling our -- my role specifically in holding the RCMP accountable for their role in restoring public safety and more broadly, the government's role in understanding why it was that despite existing authorities and resources, we could not achieve the goal of getting a law and order back on the ground. And when I look back now and, you know, I ask myself, you know, why it was in the perception of the Commissioner that she felt that some, not all, were coming up to the line, it is because of the unique and singular nature of this public order emergency. It was the fact that the scale of this was national. It was the fact that what sparked this movement in the opinion of the government was an expressly stated political objective that at times was expressed in violent terms that led to the entrenchment of a significant number of individuals to ignore the direction of law enforcement at the risk and at the peril of Canadians. It was -- the challenges that we had in government around having the appropriate intelligence tools to understand how those initially stated objectives could pull in people from many different walks of life with different backgrounds and different grievances and coalesce them around something that so significantly and persistently caused significant interruption to public safety, to the economy, to our international relations, and all of that was, I think, part of the reason why people were really trying to probe and understand that despite the fact that you had a Criminal Code, you couldn't use it. Despite the fact that you had provincial statutes around the Highway Traffic Act, they couldn't be effectively used. Despite the fact that we had tow trucks, we had many tow trucks, that they could not be deployed to clear the blockades, and all of that was leading to an escalation of the risk and the threat of serious violence as time went on. And that is why I think that the Commissioner, both signalled her concern, but also, appreciated my intervention that we still had to be respectful of that principle of operational independence.


  66. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, to be clear, there was pressure on all of us. I mean, this was an extremely tense situation. So -- I mean, I think that is just a natural reaction to all of the events that were occurring. But the reason why I'm confident, and the reason why I believe Commissioner Lucki testified that we didn't violate the principle of operational independence is because at no time were we instructing police on how to do their job on the ground. So at no time were we saying "You must arrest people under the following provisions of the law." "You must prosecute these people, you know, to the fullest extent." "You must, you know, to the granularity of detail deploy, you know, five people here and a hundred people there." And to prioritise all these operations, we at all times steered clear of that zone, which would have been a violation of the principle of operational independence. And that's why I think I'm, you know, very confident that we didn't cross that boundary.


  67. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's right.


  68. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    You don't want me, as an elected official, putting on a badge or a uniform and going out there and doing the job that police are there to do. That's not my role, that's not my responsibility. However, it is my responsibility as Minister of Public Safety to be accountable to Canadians when it comes to equipping police with the tools and the resources that they need to restore public safety. And by then, on February 10th, we did not have public safety in the Nation's Capital and at other critical infrastructure across the country, and so because of that we really wanted to understand why existing authorities were ineffective at that point, and that was the balance that we struck.


  69. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Engagement was always an option. And I had articulated on a number of occasions that law enforcement should be the last resort. And you saw, from one of the exhibits that you had put to me a little bit earlier in my testimony this morning, that I had turned my mind right at the very beginning of the briefings that it was important for there to be some engagement with those who were participating in the convoy and the blockade, and wanted to be briefed on that by law enforcement, who I thought was the most appropriate actor in this context to be engaging with, given that, you know, in my estimation, that it was operational and tactical. That didn't mean that I wasn't still having conversations with individuals outside of law enforcement about an engagement proposal, but there was early contemplation and reflection about having an engagement strategy. I would say beyond that, there were conversations between the Prime Minister and myself about searching for a suitable mediator or interlocutor, someone who would have had the experience to de-escalate and resolve situations that are complex. And beyond that, by the time we got to the IRG there was a report that was given by Deputy Minister Stewart about information that he had gleaned from conversations that he was having with the Ontario Government and the OPP around the intelligence of what the group was constituted of in terms of adherence to, you know, ideology, the desire to, you know, double down and hold the line, and et cetera, and all that, versus everybody else who might have just been there to express another point of view. And so as a result of that report that he offered at the IRG, there were taskings that were listed by the Clerk of the Privy Council at the end of that meeting, one of which was to continue to develop a potential engagement strategy. And so that's what the Deputy Minister set about to do, and I know that there, you know, was some additional work on that front.


  70. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  71. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'm expressing a concern that the Deputy Minister had socialised with a different level of government an engagement proposal that I would have wanted to have some input into prior to that. And you know, again, admittedly, in this particular moment everybody is working extremely hard, long hours, trying to quickly fulfill the tasks that had been accomplished, or fulfill the tasks that had been assigned, I beg your pardon, at the end of the last IRG. And so I wanted to be sure that we were together, thinking through, not only the engagement proposal, but also, mitigating and thinking through some of the very real and practical considerations that had to be woven into the strategy if one was going to be deployed. For example, and I posed some of those questions, who are we going to send this to? Where is it going to take place? How can we be sure that if we do engage in it that we can maintain public safety? Because the situation was extremely volatile and very tense, and among the concerns were whether or not there was actually any cohesive structure to the occupation at that moment in time, and so understanding who we were sitting down with was critically important. And so I just was -- I wanted to be sure that Ms. Telford was aware of that, because ultimately, when we go back to Cabinet, I am responsible and accountable for my department, including the Deputy Minister, and wanted to be sure that I was equipped to answer any questions from colleagues about what this engagement proposal would look like. So, you know, I say, again, in fairness to everybody, this was an exceedingly difficult and challenging time, and I know that Deputy Minister Stewart was doing his level best to fulfil a task that had been assigned to him after the IRG and was, I think, trying to action it and get some traction at the Ontario level of government, and we did have a good conversation about that. And, you know, subsequently, I think as we saw on February 14th, that despite the efforts of the City of Ottawa to engage some of the members of the occupation here in Ottawa, that it ultimately unravelled I think for many of the reasons and concerns I previously articulated.


  72. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  73. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  74. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    At that particular ---


  75. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- moment in time, and just wanted to be sure that I had a line of sight and understood it, and also, that it was part of a broader effort by both me and others from within the government to explore engagement. And as I pointed out, seeking briefings and information from police right from the beginning about how we were engaging with members of the occupation, equally, the conversations that I had with the Prime Minister around finding potentially a mediator to de-escalate so we could avoid law enforcement as much as possible, and, you know, ultimately, this engagement proposal as well. It was all a suite of things that we were doing together to really try to restore public safety as quickly as we could.


  76. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'm not sure. I think the broader concern was just making sure that I could stay up to speed.


  77. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And recognizing, again, the pressures on everybody to go about and complete these taskings. I just wanted to be sure both me and my staff had an opportunity to contribute to the idea before it got -- before it was shared with other -- not only other branches of government, but as you pointed out, other branches of law enforcement, and I wanted to be sure we were really, you know, staying on the same page. But it was an exceedingly difficult time, in fairness to the Deputy Minister.


  78. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah, I would agree with you. I think it was extremely difficult for law enforcement to figure out how to engage in a constructive way with the occupation and the blockades, not only here in Ottawa but across the country. I know from the early days that members of Police Liaison Units, these are individuals within law enforcement who have very specific expertise in engaging with people who protest, to sort of set the boundaries of what -- just to be sure that everybody can be safe. So here's what we can all sort of agree to, and I think that there -- as you've heard previously, there was some effort to do that certainly at the local level here in Ottawa. But to come back to what I think that -- like, the core of your question is, you are absolutely right that it becomes a lot trickier and more complex once elected officials start to penetrate into the terms and the conditions by which you negotiate a disengagement of the blockades and the occupation if it involves, let's say, you know, the moving of vehicles, the moving of people, the moving of police officers. All of that, I would submit, is much more within the operational domain, and by extension, independence of police, which was one of the concerns that I had in navigating this appropriately. So that was, I think, part of what I was getting at in my text to Ms. Telford was just I wanted to be able to think that through with everybody, and especially if we were going to be sharing it with other levels of law enforcement so that we were respectful of those principles of operational independence as well.


  79. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don't recall exactly when I would have seen it. This, as you pointed out, was sent just prior to the commencement of the Cabinet meeting. I will say to you importantly that, a couple things, first, the Commissioner did not express that opinion to me at any time directly. And I actually spoke to the Commissioner earlier that day, on February 13th. And while she did not at all address that last point that you raised in the email, she did call me and only me. This was a conversation between just her and I, to be clear, to express her very grave concerns about the situation in Coutts. And she underlined for me that the situation in Coutts involved a hardened cell of individuals who were armed to the teeth with lethal firearms, who possessed a willingness to go down with the cause. And the reason why this was such a sensitive conversation was that we had RCMP undercover personnel deployed in the field. And she was justifiably concerned that there not be any leak of this information because lives literally hung in the balance. And, for me, this represented, far and away, the most serious and urgent moment in the blockade to this point in time. And so it also spoke volumes to me about the Commissioner’s state of mind, which was that we were potentially seeing an escalation of serious violence with the situation in Coutts. And it certainly, I think, was -- in the broader context of the preponderance of the advice that we were getting from the Commissioner at that time as a result of conversations, not only in the ERGs, about where there were gaps in authorities -- in existing authorities to return public safety to the ground, could not have drawn any other inference that she was supportive, as she later expressed that she was, of the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. This was a singular moment for me, in my mind. And it was so urgent that I said to her, “Well, look, I can’t just keep this information to myself. At a minimum I have to be able to share it with the Prime Minister,” which I then subsequently took steps to do. Shortly thereafter, I reached out to Ms. Telford ---


  80. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    About Coutts, and about the potential for gun violence and for the loss of life, and the fact that there were RCMP personnel that were in the field. And all of this occurring literally within hours, not even days, of the invocation to the Emergencies Act. I was extremely concerned that this had reached a new height of both urgency and emergency. And so I felt I had a responsibility to let, at a minimum, the Prime Minister know, and his staff know, while respecting the operational sensitivity at the most delicate levels to protect the people on the ground. And so I did that. I spoke to Ms. Telford afterwards, where I conveyed to her both the best information that I had at the time around Coutts, and asked her to keep this -- to respect, in effect, the Commissioner’s request that we treat this information with the utmost sensitivity so that we could ensure that we were keeping people safe. But this was a threshold moment for me, there’s no doubt about it.


  81. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That was the same day.


  82. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That was the same day, yes.


  83. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Again, I -- I’m trying very much to reconstruct the sequence of events. Things moved very, very quickly. It literally came in inside of a half hour of the commencement. So I don’t want to say definitively I didn’t see it; I was much more preoccupied with the actual direct conversation that I had with Commissioner Lucki earlier that day, where she had imparted to me perhaps the most urgent information to date with regards to the occupation and the blockades, and that was a threshold moment.


  84. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  85. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And I wasn’t permitted to share -- or I was asked not to share the information about Coutts with anyone else, except for the Prime Minister, which I did.


  86. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don’t think so, at that point. My interactions directly with the Commissioner were actually going in the opposite direction. And certainly the fact that we were on the precipice of engaging in a -- in an operation in Coutts, where people were armed with a significant number of lethal firearms; where they possessed body armour; where there was intelligence or information that they had ideologically extremists views and symbolism that was attached to the group; that they were prepared to go down with the cause, was a very strong signal to me that the Commissioner was of a heightened concern around the state of affairs. And, again, it was consistent with the advice that we were getting contemporaneous to the decision of the invocation of the Emergencies Act around tools to address the gaps that existed. So, you know, the need to deploy RCMP officers; the need to procure essential services; importantly, the need to declare no-go zones, or prohibition of assemblies. Let me just say on that last point that I wasn’t just hearing about that from the RCMP. The CBSA had briefed Cabinet on, at least a -- one occasion for sure, if not more, about their explicit concerns about the lack of their authority and jurisdiction to clear roads on the way to the border. And so, you know, all of those powers were subsequently included in the declaration and the Regulations under the Emergencies Act.


  87. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I’d have to go back and take a look at the time stamps, but ---


  88. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Could very well had been. I assume it was. This is February 13th, right?


  89. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. So I would have been trying to really get a clarity of understanding about what the gaps were. And what the then-President of the CBSA is expressing to me is that they need something that they don’t have. And what they don’t have at this moment in time is any existing authority to turn away foreign nationals who are attempting to enter into Canada where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they may want to support, what at this point, is an illegal blockade. And so that is, again, a cry, an obvious request for some assistance here as a result of a gap in an authority. And there is a direct line between that gap and the subsequent powers which were included under the Emergencies Act. There’s no other way for me to interpret the information that I’m getting from John Ossowski. It’s certainly not to do anything about it. And subsequently we did provide that authority, and there were, as my understanding recollects, at least, I think, one or two individuals who were turned away on February 19th by CBSA on the strength of the Emergencies Act authorities that were provided to them.


  90. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think your interpretation’s right, and I think Mr. Ossowski is -- he’s communicating to me that, “We’re working with what we got, but it’s not enough.”


  91. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    “And we’re concerned that we don’t have the authority that we need.” And this was in addition to what I think is one of the other significant concerns that CBSA expressed to me and to other Cabinet colleagues, which is that they did not have the authority or the jurisdiction to clear the roads leading to the border. And, certainly, that limited their capacity to keep the border open, and by extension, critical supply chains; food, fuel, health supplies; all the like, the people in the border communities. And I’m certainly familiar with the community in Windsor, as a result of some family relationships. But people have got to go about their daily lives, and this was completely impossible at that time. And so, you know, I think he’s expressing two very legitimate gaps. And so again, the only interpretation for me is that we need some help here. And so we endeavour to provide that help to them through the Emergencies Act.


  92. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Something rarely heard in any kind of a proceeding.


  93. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well first I would say that the absence of having a direct conversation with Commissioner Lucki, and I pointed out the call that we had earlier today, but that wasn’t the only one. There were other meetings, and IRGs, and daily briefings. Really it was an impediment at that point to have the kind of back and forth exploration of that advice, which she had included in an email to my Chief of Staff, Mike Jones. I think the other thing -- the other reason why I don’t believe it would have substantially changed my views at that point are two-fold. One, it didn’t really expand at all on how she had come to that point of view. So when she talked about a plan, there was no elaboration on it. And I would point out that for the better part of two weeks leading up to February 13th, that there were times where the Commissioner and others at those daily calls that we were having were expressing concerns about the absence of a plan with existing authorities. So at that particular moment in time, it seemed to me, as a conclusory statement that was not substantiated with any kind of particular detail. And the second reason why I don’t believe it would have changed, you know, where my thinking was at that particular moment in time, was predominately because of the call earlier that day, which was top of mind. And as I explained before the morning break, it just -- it spoke volumes about what her state of mind was, which was that this was a potentially an escalation of violence that could result in there being gun violence and potentially serious injuries or even fatalities to members of law enforcement and Canadians. One thing I didn’t mention was that my worry, my real fear, was that had that operation not gone down peacefully, that it might have sparked other gun violence across the country. And I recall early reports from the Ottawa Police Service that guns had been brought into the National Capital Region and into the -- potentially into the Parliamentary Precinct. And there wasn’t a lot of detail around that. I want to be clear. But we were operating with the best information that we had available to us. So that elevated my concerns. And so that’s where my state of mind was, as opposed to the one bullet point that she had sent to my Chief of Staff shortly before the Cabinet meeting on February 13th.


  94. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    On the basis of both previous information and reports publicly available from Ottawa Police Service that firearms had made their way into the Capital. And as well, again, a report about an arrest involving someone who was participating in the convoy here that ultimately resulted in the seizure of a firearm. So I was worried about the potential chain reaction, that if the operation did not go flawlessly that it might actually escalate in more violence. And that's why -- I think she communicated that, you know, very clearly. And rightfully so. I want to be clear that Commissioner Lucki was entirely appropriate and justified in signalling that this was a, you know, potentially much higher level of concern around the state of affairs.


  95. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    My concern was that this was -- that this information was highly sensitive. It involved a hardened cell. It involved guns. It involved ideological symbolism, potentially. And that if that operation to arrest those individuals did not go efficiently, and smoothly and peacefully, that it may have created a chain reaction elsewhere across the country, because there were past reports about the presence of guns.


  96. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. And again, I -- the urgency with which we had that conversation, the confidentiality around it, the operational sensitivity about it, the jeopardy of having lives at stake, the potential chain reaction of other gun violence across the country on the basis of reports, and the concurrent advice that we were getting about tools that could only be granted in the Emergencies Act because resources were ineffective at restoring public safety, and there were gaps around deploying RCMP efficiently, I mean, you'll recall the swearing in provisions, the no-go zones, the procuring of tow trucks, all of that was where my state of mind is.


  97. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And by the way, those were conversations that we did have in-person at the IRGs and at the Cabinet table around where those gaps were.


  98. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  99. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, you've touched on a few important points in your question, so I'm going to try and unpack the questions that you've put to me. Just first on hesitancy, I would be more inclined to describe it as reluctance, and I think that that instinct was the right one. That this was a statute that was created coming out of the aftermath of the October 1970 crisis and there being real concerns about using -- resorting to the War Measures Act and using the military to restore public order, which is not the mandate or the expertise of the military, a very blunt instrument. And the creation of the Emergencies Act, which very consciously and deliberately does not make any reference to military powers, but nevertheless, affords the Government broad scope to respond to public order emergencies, and just by virtue of its title, you know, the -- if you're into an emergency, this is obviously a very serious situation, so you don't want to have to use it unless it's necessary. So that is the right posture I think of every government, that this is not a piece of legislation that we should be using in a way that is anything reserved but for the most serious situations. So that's my answer in regards to the reluctance around it. You also mentioned in your question that, you know, that this business about there being the concern that if we invoke the Emergencies Act that it might actually lead to more violence, or radicalisations I believe you heard from Mr. Vigneault and CSIS. I was very mindful of that, but I also, and colleagues at the Cabinet table, also had to weigh the risks of not invoking the Emergencies Act because there were -- the materialisation of counterprotests from individuals, specifically in Ottawa, because they were so frustrated at their inability to go to their jobs, take their kids to daycare, get access to emergency medical services, their prescriptions and the like, I mean, it was utter and total mayhem. I mean, let's call a spade a spade. And so that frustration was boiling over. And my concern in my capacity, as the Minister for Public Safety, is that if we don't equip police with the additional tools and the authorities that they need to specifically address the gaps that they had been consistently briefing us on, then that might lead to more violence. And so we also had to weigh the risks of not taking the decision to invoke. And so that -- we weighed in the potential concerns around radicalisation, but ultimately we came down on the side of invoking.


  100. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Sorry. This is a document published by?


  101. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Minister Marco Mendicino.


  102. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  103. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    The advice that we received was around tools that could only be granted through the Emergencies Act, and the reason why I say that is that there is an express element of the test that says that you don't get to the threshold unless you've exhausted authorities or if you -- unless it can be established that existing authorities are ineffective at restoring public safety. And for me, that is the operative word, because there were authorities there were on the books, but the fact is that on the basis of what I was seeing and what I was hearing that those existing authorities were not sufficiently effective to restore public safety. And that is consistent with the advice that we were getting from various partners within the public safety community, including law enforcement, including CBSA, and other officials, as you've heard.


  104. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And tools, as you actually saw in the email from Commissioner Lucki on February 13th. That would be invoked in the Emergencies Act; she used that language in her email to me.


  105. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, first let me address the piece about CSIS’s conclusion, and I know you’ve heard some evidence about that, but I do think it is important to emphasize that they are assessing through their mandate, which is conventionally confined to espionage and foreign interference and potential threats to cybersecurity, for the purposes of establishing a legal threshold under that statute, which then leads to potentially obtaining warrants, judicially authorized, so that we can mitigate against those potential security threats. This was very different. This was not about isolating a lone wolf or a small group; rather, it was about looking at a protest which became illegal at a national scale. And assessing -- completing that exercise also had to take a look at the broader objective and scope of the Emergencies Act, which means looking at section 2 of that statute where it talks about the presence of a serious threat, or threat of serious violence so as to exceed the capacity of any province to respond on the basis of authorities that exist. And so in my judgment, you need to kind of look at both. And that was precisely the skillset that I was applying in my role as Minister of Public Safety. Drawing on my understanding of the law and the principles as they were being applied to the facts that existed on the ground at the time. And so looking at everything in its totality, we had a situation where for two weeks we had a protest that was national in scale that overwhelmed the resources of police and other border officials, very deliberately, for a protracted period of time, where despite the existence of statutes and resources; and, in my view, as informed by counter-operational tactics that were specifically deployed to stop people from restoring public safety, the extraordinary jeopardy that it placed our economy in; the thousands of Canadians who had their jobs interrupted; the fact that businesses were shuttered; that sectors were compromised that are the literal and figurative engine of our economy; the fact that all of this was tied to a politically stated objective to overthrow the government if it refused to reverse course on pandemic policy, and the challenges that were presented to the security and intelligence community, and the broader law enforcement community, in understanding what the nature of this protest was, and why it was so difficult and challenging to restore public safety all drew me to the conclusion that we met the threshold. And, ultimately, for me at the end of the day, it worked. I’m not saying that the Emergencies Act is a perfect instrument, and my sincere hope to the Commission is that there will be some reflection about that, but it was a measure that was successfully deployed by law enforcement to restore public safety without significant injury, or any fatalities at all. And the fact that as part of the invocation of this Act, that we now have an opportunity to go over the circumstances that led to that decision in great forensic detail with witnesses testifying is, I think, an important pillar of our democratic process, which, of course, was one of the things that we were very much concerned with preserving throughout. So that is my answer with regards to the threshold and why I think it’s important that I’m here today.


  106. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have a bit of the same.


  107. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  108. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I believe it's Mike Jones.


  109. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  110. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  111. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  112. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It does. There were some questions about whether or not it was fully opened and exactly when CBSA would declare that it was officially open, but on the whole, yes, there were reports that it was opened in the early hours of February the 14th.


  113. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That sounds about right to me.


  114. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's right.


  115. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    There were reports of flair-ups, if I'm not mistaken ---


  116. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- either on the 13th, but certainly after the 14th as well.


  117. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  118. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  119. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  120. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's -- well, to be clear, the First Minister's meeting had not yet occurred, which occurred the next morning. There were conversations with provincial and territorial counterparts, but it was before the First Minister's meeting.


  121. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  122. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, and I wasn't communicating that the decision had been finally taken, but rather the assumption that it may have been.


  123. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I won't dispute we were definitely trending very much in that direction, yes.


  124. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Restoring public safety and Ambassador Bridge was one of the real flashpoints, as you'll recall, because not only of the impact domestically in Windsor, but Ambassador Bridge was one of the reasons why I was engaged by my American counterparts, Secretary Mayorkas, who had reached out and was very concerned that it was going to have an impact on two-way trade -- and you will be familiar with this by now I assume, but at Ambassador Bridge we do the most significant amount of our day-to-day land trade, so there was a lot at stake in restoring public safety at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor-Detroit.


  125. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I agree with you, a cynic may suggest that, but that was not my intent. The point was this was a very stressful time, and I wanted to be in a position to reassure Canadians that we were restoring public safety right across the country, including in Windsor-Detroit, and that was an idea that I had proposed at the time to my Chief of Staff.


  126. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  127. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I think what I'm getting at is that people are anxious and are concerned and want to be confident that we are restoring public safety. I mean, I would point out that that is not the end of the matter and there's some additional back and forth between my Chief of Staff and law enforcement. Ultimately, I chose not to go on sober reflection.


  128. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I didn't speak directly with the OPP, but it was expressed to me that law enforcement had concerns about me or any other elected official going.


  129. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  130. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah, their advice changed my mind.


  131. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And I had to balance that against what my initial thought or objective was, which was to assure -- to be accessible and to assure people that we had restored public safety. So in the end, I took that very much into consideration. It was actually quite differential and respectful to the advice that we got back from police and chose not to go.


  132. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. Solid advice and I took it.


  133. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Absolutely, yes.


  134. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, that's why we didn't go, yes.


  135. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  136. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Totally, and you would have heard my evidence a little bit earlier this morning where I talked about navigating the principle of operational independence. I referred to Article 9.3 under Police Service Agreements which we reach with provinces, which actually do set out a mechanism and a protocol by which additional resources are requested from the Office of the Federal Minister of Public Safety, as well as the Office of the Provincial Ministers of Public Safety. One thing I didn't mention but I do think is really relevant is that in those Police Service Agreements, it is expressly contemplated under either 9.1 or 9.2 of those agreements that prior to the deployment of the intra-provincial RCMP resources, it is the elected provincial Minister of Public Safety who has to form the opinion that there is a state of emergency before they can be deployed. And it is only if existing RCMP resources within the province are overwhelmed or insufficient to deal with that emergency that you then take the next step of requesting for the deployment of RCMP resources outside of the province to deal with the situation, which is Article 9.3. And that is a request that comes to this office. My point is, I agree with you that there is a protocol there. The Emergencies Act, unfortunately, does not prescribe that process, so what we did instead was we did the best that we could having various meetings daily, ultimately, in the ERG and the Cabinet meetings where we were soliciting inputs, including, as you saw in the email that I received from Commissioner Lucki the day before, where she very specifically and thoughtfully prescribes tools that could only be granted under the Emergencies Act. But I agree that maybe some additional thought ought to be given to this protocol.


  137. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  138. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  139. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do agree. And by the way, the range was very broad.


  140. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I mean, I’d heard something in the low thousands and then it quickly escalated as we got closer to the weekend upwards of seven or eight thousand, so yes.


  141. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  142. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I recall that, yes.


  143. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would agree with that.


  144. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I agree.


  145. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. And I think you’ve heard from a number of individuals, including me, that that posed challenges with regards to assessing the intelligence and the information about who the protest was made up of, how many would participate, how long they would stay, what would be the kind of conduct they would be engaging in, could it become violent. There was a lot of information to have to sift through and assess and it was, as you pointed out, at times varying and conflicting, and so that definitely posed some challenges.


  146. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, it is.


  147. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It was. And I was worried, as I said earlier, that it was the function of some counter-operational advice that was being provided to the blockade and the occupation, and it was -- in addition to police officers, it was public figures. And we’ve heard many reports about serious criminal violent threats, including death threats. I received a death threat. My family received a death threat throughout the -- throughout the convoy. It was members of the press who were trying to report on the facts that were occurring on the ground. There were -- there were many, many, I think, efforts to try to crowd out legitimate law enforcement.


  148. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  149. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s right.


  150. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And I would say both Chief Sloly and then Interim Chief Bell both expressed concerns about having sufficient resources on the ground, which is why, in my capacity as Minister of Public Safety, I was facilitating additional help with the assistance of the Commissioner of the RCMP by providing those resources. And when that didn’t work, looking at other tools leading up to the Emergencies Act.


  151. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That came very early on, yes.


  152. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, that was certainly the subject of discussions that was going on between the RCMP, the OPP and the OPS as it was reported to me. It was about making sure that we understood what the plan was and what was needed by the Ottawa Police Service to restore public safety and, from where I sat, one way in which we could support the formulation and the ultimate implementation of a plan would be to offer additional RCMP resources, and that we did.


  153. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would agree that we shouldn’t be sending out any police officer into the field if they can’t be safe.


  154. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And so this particular event was singular and unprecedented, as you pointed out earlier, and therefore, it did require sufficient and significant resources to restore public safety.


  155. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, I held that view throughout the entirety of the blockade and the occupation until we invoked the Emergencies Act.


  156. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It was disproportionately skewed towards those who were participating in the occupation and -- and I believe at times that was a tactical decision. And when police tried to enforce, you know, they were -- they were crowded out, they were swarmed, they were intimidated. In some cases reports of assaults. So yes, they were overwhelmed.


  157. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  158. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  159. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that makes sense.


  160. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    To the best of my recollection, yes, that sounds right.


  161. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, I have some recollection of that.


  162. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I believe so, yes.


  163. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s correct.


  164. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. And in addition to that, the logistics of where engagement would occur.


  165. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It would appear so, on the basis of that email exchange. I don’t recall being briefed at the time about who those individuals were or, moreover, how those individuals would help to ensure the clearing of the convoy. But yes, on what you’re showing me, it does seem that there is a back and forth between Deputy Minister Stewart and the Ottawa Police Service on who the leaders of the organization might be.


  166. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Sorry, can we just go back up to the top of that document? Right, sorry, scroll down a bit. And again. So the way I recall this is that Deputy Minister Stewart is responding to concerns that I had raised with him about the engagement proposal.


  167. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would say it begun to address the concerns. I don’t think I was wholly satisfied by the answers that I had gotten at that stage. In particular, I would have explored the assessment that the risk to the signatory and to the government rep was low because I needed to understand exactly where the set up was going to be, how it was going to be undertaken, and bearing in mind at the time the situation on the ground was volatile, and at times extremely chaotic, and certainly with a very compromised ability to enforce the law. I really wanted to be satisfied that those answers -- that those questions would be answered, because if I went back to Cabinet and was asked about the engagement proposal that was being worked up by my Deputy Minister, I had to be accountable and I had to be a position to answer them. So it begun to answer some of those questions, I would say, not completely.


  168. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    No, there was no decision to stop the process. And there were some ongoing conversations about engagement. And, you know, ultimately, I mean this is February 12 at 12:25. The following day, we have an IRG and then a Cabinet meeting. And then the 14th is the day in which -- that’s about a day and a half after this email exchange, we saw that the efforts of the City of Ottawa were not successful in the engagement proposal. And by then, we were into the invocation of the Emergencies Act.


  169. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would say there was a lot of work that was going on, and I know that the Deputy Minister at the time was working very hard to fulfil this task around the engagement proposal, but we were also, you know, meeting with enforcement officials, meeting with Cabinet, meeting with and engaging with provincial and territorial colleagues, and then yes, the sequence of events that had to be fulfilled prior to taking a decision on the invocation of the Emergencies Act was pressing.


  170. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Thank you.


  171. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I recall some information coming to me about that engagement and it being similarly unsuccessful, I recall there being a report about a letter being circulated to individuals who were part of the blockade in Windsor, and that my recollection is that it did not gain any traction with them. And so likewise, here in Ottawa, a lot of the concerns around the cohesive structure of the blockade and the occupation raised legitimate concerns about whether or not even if a negotiated settlement had been reached, whether or not it would have been successful in disengaging and clearing the blockade and the occupation.


  172. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It was discussed at definitely one of the IRGs, where, as I said earlier today, my Deputy at the time had briefed the members of the IRG on the constitution of the individuals that made up the occupation here in Ottawa and the degree to which they were entrenched and dug in, and how we might shaken or loosen that through engagement. So it was discussed, yes.


  173. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do recall there being discussions between Mayor Watson and I think his -- there was an appointed mediator that he had managed to secure. But I also remember being very concerned that the vehicles that were clearing out of neighbourhoods were actually come back downtown into the Parliamentary Precinct and that that created a surge of vehicles that were, again, entrenching at the seat of the Federal Government, and my concern was that it was actually growing the scale of the occupation here and that would have made it even potentially more difficult and challenging to clear.


  174. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  175. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. In trilateral meetings with Mayor Watson, and in discussions with some of his officials, I think he articulated a concern that perhaps there was a need to look more carefully at the number of -- one, the number of RCMP that were actually deployed; and two, what their taskings were. And I know that he sort of underlined that latter part on a couple of occasions, that it wasn't just the numbers it was what were the RCMP going to be dispatched to do? And in fairness, those were questions that we did put to Commissioner Lucki at the time, and I think she did her best to answer them.


  176. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    In that range. Yeah, the reason why we were trying to get the message out was that there were, I think, increasing questions and concerns from the City that they didn't have enough personnel, and I wanted to communicate that on behalf of the Federal Government that we were acting quickly and decisively to respond to those concerns by dispatching RCMP personnel.


  177. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I would say a couple of things. One, when the Commissioner is briefing me, I take that information, you know, specifically around Operations, very much into account as we're making decisions about what additional resources we can offer. I was, nevertheless, interested to know whether or not we needed to do more to coordinate because the Mayor and certain officials were saying it wasn't just about numbers, it was about tasking. So there was a free-flowing dialogue there. The numbers was -- the issue of whether or not to be public about the numbers was also a concern because the Commissioner said that she was concerned that if we posted numbers or we published numbers that that might actually lead to a surge, and so we had to try to find a balance.


  178. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I was aware that there was an ongoing conversation between the RCMP and the OPS about exactly how many RCMP had been deployed to respond to the occupation and the blockade. I will say, you know, ultimately in the lead up to the invocation, my recollection is we did dispatch about a thousand RCMP officers.


  179. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  180. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I was concerned about the fact that for two weeks we could not enforce the law and maintain public safety in the Capital and at border communities across the country, yes.


  181. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think with the benefit of reflection, you know, you always look back and, you know, ask yourself could you have expressed a sentiment with more diplomacy. I mean, we've heard earlier today that there were some rather, you know, tense and terse exchanges. I think it is completely understandable in the moment, and it wasn't just government and police who were concerned and frustrated. The people that I was most worried about were Canadians and the materialisation of counterprotests and just the ability to be able to go about daily lives, was my paramount concern, and the only way we could get life back to normal is if we could uphold the law.


  182. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    No. And I know how much regard Minister Blair holds for law enforcement. I mean, he was a member of that community for decades. So you know, look, it was a really tough moment for the country, it was a tough moment for the people who were impacted by the occupation, and at times, yes, emotions were definitely running high and it was challenging. But you know, ultimately we got the right players at the table to restore public safety.


  183. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    No, I don't think so. And I think again this is an area that is really important to this Inquiry, which is to understand where those boundaries are within the context of an emergency. So it is important that in my job as the Minister of Public Safety that I am holding the RCMP and other line agencies in the Public Safety portfolio accountable for doing the job of finding ways to restore public safety, exhausting every effort, using statutory authorities which exist, using authorities and resources that exist, and failing that, to look and scan at what's left. And so that is what took us to the Emergencies Act. But throughout, finding that, you know, that right balance of ensuring accountability without crossing the boundary is an extremely important part of this exercise, I agree with that.


  184. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah, that's right, and, you know, I do think that there are some existing conventions that we can look to have a, like an important conversation about what those principles are. And I mentioned one under the Police Services Agreement, where there is the relationship between the elected branch of government and police when it comes to forming the opinion that an emergency exists and then the elected government responding to requests from police to deploy resources and additional tools which may not exist in any other statute.


  185. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that's a very important question because right now, the linkages between municipal to provincial police services is clear, through provincial statute, through the respective provincial Police Services Acts. But there is no direct link following that to federal law enforcement resources, and that was something that we did have to navigate, given the unique circumstances that we found ourselves in. And I do agree with the suggestion that was put to me earlier from Counsel for the Ontario Provincial Police that it may be appropriate to look at developing some protocols around that.


  186. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think Chief Sloly did the best that he could in those circumstances, yes.


  187. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  188. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  189. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  190. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Frequently, yes.


  191. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  192. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  193. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  194. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I was, and as I said, I was hearing them frequently and was very concerned about the safety of the people that were working on the Hill. I mean, I think I testified earlier that I had expressed the view that we may want to consider going completely virtual in Parliament because I was worried about the concentration of people, the fact that some of the expressions that you have pointed out today were being targeted, again, disproportionately at women. I was hearing from a lot of staff, and from people on my team along the lines of these types of incidents, and that really preoccupied me. And as you may recall, I mean, there was one day on which we did actually have to shut down Parliament. I mean, that is only the second time in the history of this country where that has had to occur, and that was entirely because of security concerns. So this was very serious.


  195. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I can't -- I don't know why, but I do know that, at the time, that law enforcement was overwhelmed.


  196. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And so my interpretation of that was just by the sheer number of incidents. And I think at one point, they numbered in the thousands ---


  197. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- that it was difficult to investigate or take any kind of appropriate action to hold those who are responsible to account. But there were hundreds of criminal investigations and charges that were subsequently laid.


  198. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  199. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  200. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  201. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'd heard those reports, yes.


  202. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, that's correct.


  203. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don't recall off the top of my head, but I, you know, as you pointed out, had the concern generally about individuals who had previously served in the military and law enforcement for sure. And would really need to jig my memory about whether or not that also included members from the Service.


  204. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, there were reports about leaks of information during operations and, you know, it involved or entailed some -- it would appear to be snapshots of texts. And so I do recall there being some concerns about active members being potentially sympathetic.


  205. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I know that the RCMP certainly wanted to be sure that they were getting to the bottom of any potential security lapses, and that those investigations were conducted.


  206. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Thank you.


  207. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  208. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah, that’s a fair question. What I was referring to were conversations that we had at the beginning of February where he had indicated that he needed physical tools and assets to help clear the blockade. I believe he was expressing a concern that he was having a really hard time getting access to those assets through either the RCMP or through provincial police services. So he was putting to me the suggestion that we might be able to assist him through military assets, and I’d said to him that although statutorily requests for assistance were still within my office’s authorities, but they were, in practice, being addressed by my colleague, Minister Blair, in the new Ministry that was created following the ’21 election through the Ministry of Emergency Preparedness. And I took that conversation and I committed to then-Premier Kenney that I would relay it to both Ministers Anand and Blair.


  209. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    At that point, yes, that’s correct.


  210. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s how I read it. Can I just clarify, though, that you said Zita Astravas. I note at the top of that text chain that the initials are MJ and SK, and previously we’ve read email -- or, sorry; text exchanges where SK was Sam Khalil. So I just thought I would offer that clarification. I’m not sure if that makes any sense to you.


  211. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  212. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  213. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I’m not privy to this exchange, but it seems on the text that what’s being indicated is that “Your DM,” and so I agree with you; I infer that that is DM Stewart, “said the following,” and a “Head’s up,” that DM Stewart has spoken to, as I interpret it, his Alberta “counterpart and flagged that we,” as in the federal government: “...are likely to decline the [request for assistance] for CAF equipment + optics + precedent + [provincial] authorities not fully explored reasons.” Of all of those -- of all those itemized reasons, the one that I have the least insight to is the optics. And to be clear, following my conversation with Premier Kenney, I really did delegate that task to Minister Blair and his office.


  214. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have to, again, try to jig my memory. There may have been a conversation with Premier Kenney before the 6th. It was certainly at the very beginning of February. In any case, it actually seems to me to make sense that given the sequence of events as we’ve been discussing them this morning, that I spoke to Premier Kenney, indicated that Minister Blair would be the lead on processing the request for assistance. And this, then, seems to be the follow-through, if you will, of that exchange, with his staff being on the email chain. The reason why Deputy Minister Stewart is there is that he is both accountable to both me and Minister Blair.


  215. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    On the optics part, no, I was not privy to that exchange, or that conversation at the time.


  216. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I had a concern about clearing Coutts, and I know that Premier Kenney was expressing the impasse that he found himself in and was, I think, engaging me to encourage both Ministers Blair and Anand to strongly consider a request for assistance which would provide him with military assets. In the context of conversations that I had with Premier Kenney; he’d suggested that his provincial RCMP were saying to him that they had the appropriate equipment to remove the large commercial vehicles that had blockaded Coutts since the beginning of February. So I think, in essence, what he was conveying to me is, “Look, I need help, and one of the ways in which you can help me is by looking very carefully at military assets which could help to clear the blockade in Coutts.” And he said he had a really hard time getting access to tow trucks that were large enough to accomplish that job.


  217. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Again, I’m extrapolating a little bit here, but I assume one of the concerns was -- that was being weighed in the mix was that if the -- if the request for assistance was granted in the case of Alberta, that potentially others would and -- you know, again, I’m inferring a bit here, but the use of military assets is something that is done on a very exceptional basis. So I think there was a concern about potentially opening up the door to other requests to insert the military, and, as you’ve heard, there was a lot of reluctance and restraint around resorting to military resources and authorities in the context of the blockade and the convoy.


  218. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I’m afraid I couldn’t answer that. I don’t know at that point exactly what Deputy Minister Stewart has said or not said to the Province of Alberta. And again, owing to machinery, he would have been reporting the RFA to Minister Blair in conjunction with any dialogue that was going on to Minister Anand.


  219. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I know we had an exchange. I know I flagged for her that Premier Kenney had engaged me to get some assistance and that I anticipated that there would be an RFA, Request for Assistance, that was submitted to us, and I anticipated that it would engage her and her authorities. So I just wanted to give her a heads up. But as to precisely what equipment was used, what was suitable to remove or clear the blockade in Coutts, I would have deferred, appropriately, to her and the CAF’s assessment about that, in conjunction with Minister Blair’s responsibilities and roles around processing requests for assistance that related to CAF.


  220. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  221. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Certainly with Premier Kenney, I can confirm that. I would also note that it does confirm what I had mentioned earlier, which was that he and I had had a conversation on February the 2nd, as I recalled it, which was prior to the February 6th exchange that you had pulled up earlier. So I do think that that does sit more neatly with the chronology and the sequencing of events as we described. I would say that my engagements with the then Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Sonya Savage, very likely did not include any express references to the Emergencies Act. But I believe there would have been general references to whether or not existing tools and authorities beyond physical assets were going to be sufficient to restore public safety, and it would have been in the very general nature.


  222. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. No, I agree with that, yes.


  223. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That sounds right.


  224. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would say that I’ve had broad and ongoing conversations with representatives and leadership within First Nations and Indigenous communities in my role and in my capacity as Minister of Public Safety. I know that, you know, in the lead up to the invocation, that a number of colleagues that sit at the table, including Ministers Miller and Hajdu are in routine and constant engagement with First Nations and Indigenous peoples and the communities. So there’s a broad range of ongoing dialogue that is undertaken by representatives of the Cabinet.


  225. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do.


  226. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes. And I would just add to that that we are leveraging UNDRIP to advance important reforms within the RCMP around First Nations and Indigenous policing. And so for example, over the last number of weeks and months in my capacity as Minister of Public Safety, I have been deeply engaged with First Nations and Indigenous and Inuit communities for the purposes of ensuring that there are more Indigenous led public safety initiatives, including the creation of Indigenous led police services, which are independently created. We have also -- are in the process of codeveloping legislation that expressly recognizes that Indigenous policing is an essential service so that we can move away from the current First Nations and Indigenous policing program-based approach to one that is more structured and enduring, and uses UNDRIP and the principles of reconciliation as the anchor for a relationship between the Federal Government and Frist Nations and Indigenous policing. And then the last thing I would point out is that we are currently debating Bill C-20, which is before Parliament, which is an Act that would create a new Public Complaints and Review Commission, what we are referring to as the PCRC, and we are, again, very engaged with First Nations and Indigenous communities to ensure that there is representation on that Commission so that there can be appropriate civilian review and accountability in the way that we police and uphold the law in Indigenous communities.


  227. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I agree it’s essential, and that’s one of the things that we talk about in our engagements, and it’s one of the reasons why we are codeveloping the legislation around the recognition that Indigenous policing is an essential service. And in order to give life and breadth to that principle, it means being at the table together, starting from the premise that there needs to be a recognition of the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to chart out their own courses, to implement their own priorities as it relates to public safety, including and leading up to Indigenous police services which are self-governed. So both in that co-development exercise, as well as in Bill C-20, we are very much engaged with First Nations and Indigenous people so that they are reflected in our institutions, including when it comes to public safety.


  228. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, the reforms that I’m carrying out in my capacity as Minister of Public Safety has, as part of the overarching mandate given to me by the Prime Minister, the need to adhere to the principles of reconciliation. And part of that is addressing long, enduring, systemic structural challenges in the relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples that go back to, you know, the origins of colonialism. And that would apply, not only to RCMP and CBSA, but right across all of my line agencies, including CSIS. So we are really trying to get at some of those inherent biases which have led to the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples interacting with the justice system and using UNDRIP as well to make sure that we reduce and ultimately eliminate those barriers.


  229. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s really important, as we implement these reforms, that we modernize training to be culturally sensitive of Indigenous language, of Indigenous culture and tradition, and Indigenous laws. And that is something that we are actively doing right now. And the hope is that by doing so, that we will create a relationship that is based on respect, on the nation- to-nation principles and values that -- that are informed by UNDRIP. And, again, this is not just with regards to line agencies in my portfolio; this is work that has to be done right across our government.


  230. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    By listening and -- that is one of the core principles that I feel very strongly about, and my department and my officials are in frequent contact, building the relationship on the ground. I am also travelling, with increasing frequency, to Indigenous communities across the country, to meet in person with Indigenous Leaders, with residents. I recently had the chance to visit with the James Smith Cree Nation following the mass casualty there at the beginning of -- or at the end of summer, I beg your pardon. And so that direct, personal experience is meant to foster a relationship so that we can move forward with the kinds of reforms that are inspired and governed by UNDRIP, and by the principles of reconciliation, which have been documented in the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action; the MMIWG calls to justice. It’s a full-court press from the federal government to really move forward with those reforms, but you have to meet with people, and you have to respect that inherent right of self-government and that inherent right of self-determination. And that includes when it comes to public safety initiatives. And I think by doing so, we can break that intergenerational trauma; that endless cycle that has seen a disproportionate number of Indigenous peoples caught up in the criminal justice system, for example. And so that is work that I am deeply committed to.


  231. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    The short answer is yes, and yes. And to give you a little bit of detail, we would have been meeting daily; on some days, multiple times for different briefings. The purpose of those interactions was to have a dialogue so that I could understand from her exactly what law enforcement was doing to restore public safety. And then, ultimately, in the lead-up to the invocation to seek some advice so that I could then impart some advice to the government around the invocation. So these were daily and frequent conversations that I was having with the Commissioner.


  232. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    We certainly were in constant contact. Just to be clear, it wouldn’t have necessarily been my personal responsibility ---


  233. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- to transfer it, ---


  234. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- but there was a very clear line of communication about the pressures that the Ottawa Police Service was under to muster the resources that were necessary to restore public safety. It also would’ve been clear to Commissioner Lucki some of the information and the feedback that I was getting from the City of Ottawa around the numbers and tasking and the like, and so those conversations and that dialogue would’ve been occurring, yes.


  235. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    She was.


  236. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I can’t recall if I’ve seen this document specifically. I am, obviously, generally aware of the ongoing arrangements and agreements that were reached.


  237. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  238. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  239. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I think that was certainly one of the issues that was raised by Mayor Watson and his staff at the time, which was that some of the numbers that were being reported were inclusive of pre-existing RCMP deployment, for example, in the precinct or for protection. And so my responsibility at that point, in my capacity as Minister of Public Safety, was to relay that to the Commissioner to get some clarity about exactly how many we had deployed and for what purpose.


  240. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do. I have a general recollection that one of the concerns that the Commissioner had expressed at the time was that while RCMP members were being dispatched or deployed to the City of Ottawa, that it wasn't clear to her what those taskings would be and whether or not or how exactly it would fit into the OPS's Operational Plan at the time. And that was the feedback that I was getting. But what was clear despite that was that we were sending RCMP and that we were open to sending more RCMP to support the City of Ottawa to restore public safety.


  241. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have not seen this chart. Sorry, who is the author of this document?


  242. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    This is a City of Ottawa publication is what you're saying?


  243. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Okay. I don't recognise this document.


  244. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, setting aside the exact timeframe, I am familiar with the initial figure of about 150, in that range. And again, you've heard previously that there was some ongoing back and forth on exactly how many and when, but that was one figure that had came to me early on, in that range.


  245. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I agree that on the face of this document that that is lower than 250, but again without knowing more about the authorship or the origins of this document it is very difficult for me to testify as to its accuracy.


  246. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I am not.


  247. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  248. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don't know that I was briefed. I may have read some general reports about it in the media.


  249. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  250. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  251. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think she's right in saying that if any peace officer sees that the law is being broken under the Criminal Code that they may take an appropriate -- they may use their common law authority to effect an arrest, but because of the important conventions around respecting jurisdiction and recognising that in -- certainly in the Province of Ontario that there are municipal police services that are set up under the Police Services Act that they would not act unilaterally. And certainly, and I hope I'm not going too far in trying to ascertain your line of questioning here, but it would be somewhat chaotic for the RCMP to simply insert themselves unilaterally into Wellington Street and start effecting arrests without coordinating very closely with the OPS and the OPP. So that is why so much of the energy was around understanding what the Operational Plan is, notwithstanding that in theory, yes, this line of questioning is correct. You know, an RCMP officer could effect an arrest if they saw the law being broken under the Criminal Code.


  252. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  253. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  254. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  255. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, with an academic background, yes.


  256. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I would say there were a number of Ministries that were engaged by the convoy and the blockade, not only my colleague Ministers Alghabra and Hajdu, but equally as you heard previously, Minister Blair under Emergency Preparedness, Minister Leblanc under Intergovernmental Affairs, and many others.


  257. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I'll wait to see what the document says to refresh my memory. And, sorry, who is this text exchange with or between?


  258. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I recall seeing that that was Minister Leblanc's -- looks like a cut and paste of what Premier Kenney had relayed to him.


  259. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  260. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, we put that to the electorate in the '21 election.


  261. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, to the best of my recollection, yes, your number's right on.


  262. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, it was part of, I think, two important things. First, the best available medicine, evidence, and science that we got, and it was our belief then and it continues to be now that vaccines were the best way out of the pandemic. And secondly, in the leadup to the '21 election, there was a very, I think, robust debate among all Canadians to ---


  263. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- support the government ---


  264. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, first, there was a lot of thoughtful deliberation and research done prior to the decision of launching and implementing a national vaccine strategy. But while there is a common objective between the Public Safety Ministry and Health in protecting the health and safety of Canadians, Public Safety has a different mandate, which includes the law and there are agencies under my portfolio that are responsible for upholding the law ---


  265. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, there were, again, very robust communications within government throughout the pandemic and throughout the convoy, and that includes with Minister Leblanc, Minister Alghabra, Minister ---


  266. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I recall being privy to conversations where there were discussions about the efficacy of vaccinations and also how, you know, there were other considerations around the administration of them as part of an overarching health policy to deal with the pandemic.


  267. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Sorry, just before you go on, I just want to be clear, I actually don't agree with that.


  268. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    The last part that you said in your question where you asked me if I agree ---


  269. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- that it was sped up and rushed.


  270. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And you linked it, I think, to the events of the blockade and the convoy and I disagree with that. There was a lot of work that was done in the leadup to the rollout of the national vaccination strategy that predated the convoy.


  271. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I know that in my conversations with Minister Duclos and other colleagues who participated both at the COVID Committee as well as broader Cabinet, that those conversations were informed by the best available science and data in the leadup to the national vaccination strategy.


  272. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have not seen this document before.


  273. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That would not have been within my mandate. My mandate was to make sure that we protected public safety through the enforcement of the law, and this is a Commission inquiry about the circumstances that led to it. I'm not saying your question isn't relevant. I'm saying that would be a question that would be best put to the Minister of Health.


  274. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, throughout the circumstances of the blockade and occupation I was in touch with all of my colleagues in Cabinet, including Minister ---


  275. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    This exchange is about trying to clear up what I think is a miscommunication or a misunderstanding between different levels of enforcement and the City of Windsor. And so what I’m really trying to get to the bottom of there, is whether or not additional help had been turned down by the City of Windsor.


  276. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I’m trying to recall whether or not that was information that I got either directly from Commissioner Lucki or from other sources. Off the top of my head I can’t say.


  277. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Again, off the top of my head I can’t recall, but I know first that the Ontario Government had declared a state of emergency on the Friday before, which would have been ---


  278. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    The same day; yeah, that sounds about right, but yeah, the Ontario Government had declared the Friday before.


  279. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    He and I and other representatives of the Government have had a conversation around potential compensation for losses suffered to businesses and residents arising out of the blockade, yes.


  280. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  281. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  282. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  283. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would agree, and just to add, tools that otherwise don’t exist in any of the law.


  284. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  285. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that’s fair, yes.


  286. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, it is.


  287. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that was my lay estimation, but I believe that there were many Canadians who were co-mingled with other elements of the occupation in the blockade who were there to express legitimate differences of opinions and views as it related to Federal Government policy.


  288. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  289. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  290. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I do think that we need to be very careful and circumscribed in defining what the powers are. So the prohibition of public assembly as it is itemized under the Regs. does direct that people can’t be part of a public assembly that may be reasonably expected to lead to a breach of the peace by the serious disruption of the movement of persons or goods or the serious interference with trade. Let me pause me there and say that that is directly responsive in part to CVSAs concerns around the lack of authority to clear roads adjacent to critical infrastructure in the form of the border. And you can draw a straight line to the rationale for that power. That having been said, in addition to that the Regs. still have to comply with the Emergencies Act which is the parenting statute. And what that says, is that, yes, all of the individual rights that are there around freedom of assembly, including the right to protest, are preserved so long as you do not then cross the boundary into activity which could pose a threat of serious violence. And that is the delineating limitation to how it is that we both protect Charter rights while at the same time giving circumscribed targeted powers to restore public safety. So you have to read this provision in my opinion in conjunction with the parroting statute.


  291. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It is, but, you know, we count on law enforcement to interpret the law correctly, and as part of the rolling out of these regulations and these circumscribed powers, and it would have been part of the plan to implement that there is a respect for the right to lawful assembly. In any event, by the time these regs had come into force, certainly it was clear to those who were still there that law enforcement had directed, government officials had directed that this was no longer lawful because it was no longer safe.


  292. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think by inference, you could say that certainly under Sub 2(1) and the subparagraph A, that there are, you know, geographic -- there are some geographic circumscriptions there in that there are a limited number of places where you can seriously disrupt the movement of persons or goods or the serious interference with trade. And I think the border would be one.


  293. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That’s right.


  294. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That was true, but I would add that there were reports of flare ups. There was an exchange between the Mayor and I. There were also public reports following that and some information that we had received in subsequent briefings about the threat of the blockade coming back to the Ambassador Bridge. I would point out that it was a recurring theme over those two weeks that progress was not linear, that it was very much a wack-a-mole kind of dynamic and the idea was not only to restore public safety, but to maintain it. And the objective of invoking the Emergencies Act was to maintain law and order to stop the wack-a-mole.


  295. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I agree. And I was relieved. But I was also dealing with the best information available to me at the time and surveying the landscape and being mindful that there were reports of guns and firearms that were present at other locations and not knowing exactly how it was that the operation in Coutts was going to play out at that time, and bearing in mind the sensitivities, the fact that the situation was combustible, that the individuals that were involved in Coutts were prepared to go down with a fight that could lead to the loss of life, that if that had happened and that occurred, it still remains an open question in my mind as to whether or not it would have triggered other events across the country. And so that’s why I -- in my mind, it was very much -- it was a threshold moment.


  296. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think you may be putting it a little optimistically. I know that after the Coutts takedown, that there were still engagements there. I do agree that things did start to dissipate and disengage in Coutts, but I also recall that people were still very much dug in in other parts of the country, including here in the Nation’s capital.


  297. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Thanks, Your Honour. Otherwise you’d have to watch me vote digitally.


  298. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  299. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  300. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  301. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  302. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    He did.


  303. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  304. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's right.


  305. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I believe that's correct, yes.


  306. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, that's my recollection.


  307. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I did.


  308. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  309. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  310. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It really did, and especially because of the many unique aspects of this particular public order event.


  311. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think on the whole, yes.


  312. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  313. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'm afraid I was not, sorry.


  314. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, there were definitely gaps, and there are very specific mandated powers that are afforded to CBSA officers for the purposes of administering other statutes, for example, customs and the like. But one of the main -- there were two main concerns in addition to the one that you mentioned that he raised with me and with other Cabinet colleagues that was preventing foreign nationals where there were grounds to believe that they may support the blockade or the occupation; and secondly, the lack of authority to clear the roads leading to the bridge, which I think is very much in relationship to the point that you made.


  315. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    There are limitations as to how far they can go, and certainly if there are criminal charges or if there is criminal conduct that is occurring on the bridge itself they would have peace officer authorities to facilitate restoring control, that's one of the reasons why CBSA officers were ultimately granted the right to hold firearms, but ultimately they would pass those investigations onto local police of jurisdiction.


  316. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    There were limitations to the authorities, yes.


  317. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    It depends on which side of the bridge. So if it was on the Canadian side, then yes, then I would assume that he would have reported those to the Windsor Police.


  318. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That sounds generally consistent with my recollection, although there were other powers that we did afford under the Emergencies Act that were responsive to the gaps that John Ossowski, as the then President of the CBSA, had identified.


  319. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  320. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    No question about it. And Huron Church Road, which begins where the 401 ends as you're driving west into town, takes you right to the entry to the port of entry that then crosses into Detroit. So yes, the people of Windsor are very much, and the City administration, the Police Service very much share the responsibility of maintaining public safety.


  321. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that's a fair statement, and indeed, during the course of my conversations with Mayor Dilkens at the time, I did foreshadow that we may have to consider how it is that we maintain jurisdiction in the roads leading into the borders, certainly immediately adjacent to, so that the Federal Government could properly play a role in maintaining those critical supply chains that were compromised and ultimately blocked for extended periods of time, not only in Windsor but across the country. So yes, I do think that that is a -- an issue that merits conversation.


  322. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that it goes hand in glove. I think that if you are going to talk about expanding the jurisdiction of the CBA to, let's say, roads which are otherwise provincial highways, that that is a conversation that has to occur with other levels of government, municipal authorities, and then if you're going to make any recalibration there, you're going to have to make sure that CBSA have the resources to enforce as well, or at a minimum engage in some kind of an understanding or an agreement with different levels of government and enforcement to make sure that we can protect our critical infrastructure, including our borders.


  323. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  324. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  325. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  326. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I know that -- my best recollection is, is that we deployed approximately 75, I believe, or 100 RCMP officers, that's my recollection. Off the top of my head, I don't know how many are permanently stationed there at "O".


  327. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don't actually have a specific recollection of that conversation being started, but I wholeheartedly endorse the idea, and I think it's a good initiative.


  328. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  329. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  330. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  331. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would and in fact, I visited the community there including some of the small business along Huron Line Church and the barriers impeded access to them and that's one of the losses that the community suffered. So I think Mayor Dilkens was highlighting one of the issues that if they were going to use jersey barriers to prevent the blockade from forming or reforming, that they then had to also consider what impact that was going to have on the local community including some of the smaller businesses that dot along the Huron Church Line.


  332. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  333. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, as I -- as you pointed out, I maintain frequent contact with Mayor Dilkens as I do with many municipal counterparts and provincial counterparts. And we have spoken about the ongoing ways in which we can support Windsor, you know, not only with respect to thoughtful planning around avoiding a similar type of blockade from interrupting not only trade and commerce, but the very strong people to people ties. You have so many families who go back and forth over that bridge every single day and this blockade completely interrupted that and I was very sympathetic then and remain now to, you know, the trauma and the loss that that caused the residents of Windsor. But in addition to that, we've had ongoing discussions around how we can compensate them ---


  334. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- for the losses during the blockade I should add. Sorry.


  335. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  336. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I would say informally, certainly, I keep strong lines of communication with Mayor Dilkens. We've spoken on -- in many numerous occasions since March 17, '22 by text. You know, when I visit the community there, I make a point of trying to check in. And I would say, you know, there remains a commitment from the federal level of government to action the letter.


  337. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think it must include every level of government. I think it must also include -- and that is obviously inclusive of the City of Windsor and other border communities as well. I also think it should include obviously law enforcement and the CBSA who play an essential role in maintaining the integrity and the security of our borders. And I think it should also include a number of the other residents and local businesses who are clearly impacted as a result of people and vehicular traffic flow.


  338. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, one, maintaining direct bilateral contact with my municipal counterparts including Mayor Dilkens. I would say secondly, making sure that as we discuss the, you know, the lessons to be taken from this, that we get advice from law enforcement, so CBSA, as I said earlier, would play a very important role. And then, you know, building as well into the discussion essentially, the provinces, including Ontario, so that we are all really focussed on how it is that we can insulate ourselves from a similar type of event. And I think that this particular public order emergency demonstrated what's at stake, especially around a critical port of entry like Windsor where you're talking about not only economic impacts, which, you know, have a huge, huge knock on effect, but just the critical supply chains around food, around fuel, around healthcare supplies, that is a vital artery, not only for Canada, but equally for the United States, which as I described earlier is one of the reasons why Secretary Mayorkas had engaged me in the height of the blockades.


  339. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  340. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  341. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  342. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  343. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's right.


  344. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I prosecuted terrorism cases as well as other types of cases including the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and other federal statutes. So it wasn't just limited to cases involving national security. There were a broad range of cases that I prosecuted.


  345. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I had to become familiar with the principles around national security, the Anti- Terrorism Act, you know, other statutes that would have implicated national security, yes, the CSIS Act would be another ---


  346. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- Act as well.


  347. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  348. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Sorry, could you just repeat that last question?


  349. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, it would.


  350. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  351. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I spent a fair bit of time, yes, reviewing the documents that were prepared for me in anticipation of this testimony.


  352. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would have done that, yes.


  353. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, in fact, no, I did not watch the evidence yesterday. I -- in real time, I would have caught some of the headlines and some of the clips, but I was not watching the evidence yesterday. During the day, I have a number of, you know, engagements, even, you know, on Mondays. So, yes, I was not able to watch the evidence in real time yesterday.


  354. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I was not aware that he said tha,t and I don't know what you're referring to.


  355. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'm sorry.


  356. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I'm sorry, I really don't understand the nature of the question. Could you repeat it?


  357. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    You’re suggesting that the identity of an individual is not protected by national security laws; this is what you’re asking me?


  358. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have no idea of the –- if you’re talking about a hypothetical or if you’re talking about a real example; I mean this is a completely abstract question.


  359. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have no idea what this photo is, who the person depicted in that photo is or any of the other circumstances. This is the first time I have seen this photo produced.


  360. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  361. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    In the Commission here?


  362. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Or the application is –- I am not aware.


  363. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I believe I have heard of it.


  364. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  365. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do not know.


  366. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  367. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don’t know.


  368. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  369. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    No, I don’t know this individual.


  370. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Again, I ---


  371. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    No, I am not aware.


  372. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  373. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well I think as you’ve heard me explain today, I had every reason to believe that law enforcement was supportive and requested the Emergencies Act through the tools that could only be granted through that statute. I’ve identified the briefings that we received from law enforcement, where they identified the gaps in existing authorities and can draw a straight line between the tools that were proposed to us from the RCMP, from the CBSA, to the regulations which then prescribed them, which were then invoked, and which were then used to restore public safety.


  374. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  375. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well I would just clarify, as I said earlier, that in fact it’s my understanding that CBSA did use the Emergencies Act powers to prevent two foreign nationals from entering into Canada, and that was exercised under the powers that were granted to them. And that was, again, a direct link to a gap that had been expressed to me and to my colleagues in Cabinet, and by invoking the Act, we were addressing a gap and what was necessary in the circumstances.


  376. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well I’d say two things in response. One, we did receive advice from law enforcement very specifically with regards to the tools that were then invoked as part of the Emergencies Act. In fact, as I mentioned earlier today, in the February 13th email that my Chief of Staff received from Commissioner Lucki, that there was an express link that she drew between those tools, which again, we were getting briefed on consistently, and the language of the use of the Emergencies Act. The second thing that I would say is the Commission has since heard that a number of our non-partisan, professional, independent, public servants, including those who operate in the security and intelligence sphere, did advise that the threshold had been met.


  377. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well in the broad context of my portfolio, I would disagree with that.


  378. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And certainly, as you heard from CSIS, the threshold was met in the broader interpretation of the law.


  379. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  380. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?


  381. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Between the Cabinet meeting on February 13th and the invocation later on 14th, I believe there was.


  382. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I want to say in the morning. I don’t have the time exactly off the top of my head.


  383. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I really -- I can’t recall off the top of my head.


  384. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, to the best of my recollection.


  385. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I recall attending a meeting with the Prime Minister and other Cabinet colleagues that involved the leaders of the opposition parties. I can’t recall exactly what time that would have been.


  386. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Again, I think it was in close conjunction to the First Ministers call. I don’t have the times at my fingertips.


  387. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think there was a signal to the opposition that the government was strongly considering the invocation and was going through the sequence of steps that were necessary in the lead up to that decision, including consultation with First Ministers of the provinces and territories.


  388. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, I would say that was fair.


  389. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that’s a safe assumption, yes.


  390. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think that’s fair.


  391. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would say a few things in response. One, the assessment of whether or not to invoke the Emergencies Act didn’t really take shape until that first Incident Response Group that the Prime Minister convened on February the 10th, and by then, we were approaching two weeks in to the blockade and the convoy across the country. And one of the realities on the ground, what we were seeing, what we were receiving in the way of information from law enforcement is precisely what you described in your question, which was progress that was not linear, where at times, perhaps, you know, there may have been, you know, some travel or trade going through borders but then in other times blockages. At times, you know, there were maybe only a thousand or so individuals here in the Parliamentary Precinct or even less, but then it would surge on the weekends, and so it was that state of volatility that made it very difficult to not only restore but maintain public safety, and by then, the government, in my view, in my opinion, had already exercised considerable, I think, reflection and restraint in trying to understand why it was that existing law enforcement, resources and authorities were not effective at restoring public safety. That was the backdrop to the very focussed discussion that we had around the potential invocation of the Emergencies Act.


  392. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, it was after the First Minister's meeting, and it was through a series of conversations with staff and officials. So it would have been - - and again, I can't say exactly what time, but it would have been in the -- I believe in the afternoon, early afternoon to mid afternoon.


  393. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  394. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  395. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  396. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I would agree that was a challenge when it came to deploying. It was seen as creating delay once additional RCMP were deployed to then have them sworn in individually in accordance with the local police of jurisdiction to carry out peace officer responsibilities on the ground, and so the Emergencies Act again was directly responsive to a challenge that had been pointed out to us in briefings.


  397. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, I think what I highlighted earlier was that Provincial Police Services Statute do clearly spell out how municipal police services can turn to the provincial Commissioner to backstop any gaps in resources if they are overwhelmed. So that ---


  398. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- that part is clearly spelled out.


  399. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's correct.


  400. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    And so the Ontario Police Services Act is helpful in that regard because it can then be very instructive to the local Chief of Police to turn to his or her counterpart provincially and say, "I need help." And if that is insufficient, I think that's where there is currently a lacuna, there is a gap. And so we worked around that gap with daily dialogue and through, you know, a lot of collaboration and coordination, so that RCMP could be deployed. I will say though, it is important to draw a distinction since you represent the membership of the RCMP in the arrangement, here in Ontario where there is a provincial Police Services Act and in other provinces where there are police service agreements, where again, and I've been I think pretty specific in my references to the articles in those agreements that have a mapped out protocol of steps where you can deploy resources of the RCMP within the province, and where that isn't sufficient, to then pull RCMP officers from other provinces under Article 9.3. And I believe that that could be potentially a roadmap for an ongoing discussion about how municipal, provincial and federal law enforcement authorities can work together to address potential future public order emergencies.


  401. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, and in fact, again, I think it bears emphasizing that that was an authority that was exercised by the office that I occupy. And this is one of the customs by which we have developed the dialogue between elected government and police to respond to extraordinary situations that do require additional resources.


  402. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Give or take.


  403. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I believe I recall hearing that evidence ---


  404. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- yes.


  405. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I recall that.


  406. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I think by the sheer size of the force that there are many members that can be deployed, and we do do that. So I would say, yes, that as a result of the size of the RCMP, they are somewhat unique in their capacity to deploy across the country.


  407. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Good afternoon.


  408. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I don't believe so. This is a statement from Enterprise Canada on comments from today's ---


  409. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  410. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  411. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I mean, same and except for the exchange that I had earlier today, no.


  412. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I believe that if they were in observation of laws being broken that they could effect an arrest, but if the arrest involved the Criminal Code that they would then call in the police of jurisdiction, whoever they were.


  413. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  414. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  415. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    That's an assumption.


  416. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  417. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  418. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  419. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  420. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  421. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I can't recall whether or not I received this particular ---


  422. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    --- particular point.


  423. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  424. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  425. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  426. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  427. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  428. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  429. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  430. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I have recollection of that.


  431. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  432. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I see that.


  433. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  434. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Definitely of this nature, and as you heard me say earlier today, there were significant alterations to security posture to public figures that is consistent with the report that you are referring to here as a result of the ideologically extremist rhetoric that was becoming more and is becoming more and more pervasive, and the concern that that rhetoric can lead to violence and the threat of serious violence.


  435. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  436. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    (Inaudible response)


  437. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  438. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, and I would just emphasise that the key points are all critical infrastructure within and around the Parliamentary precinct, besides 24 Sussex, which is obviously very publicly known as the Official Residence of the Prime Minister.


  439. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I do.


  440. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I know that that question did surface in one of the early briefings that we were having with law -- the law enforcement and public safety communities. I know one of my colleagues raised -- one of my Ministerial colleagues raised the concern that this -- that the blockade and the convoy could potentially result in a January 6 type event, and much of that was connected to the foundation that you’ve already laid around the increase and the pervasiveness of ideologically extremist rhetoric, many of which included the dog whistles that -- examples that you’ve already provided. So that, I think, is one of the reasons why at the same time we were -- the RCMP were adjusting security posture for Parliamentarians, and why there was enhanced security in the Parliamentary precinct.


  441. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    January 28th or 29th?


  442. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, sorry. There it is, I see that now. Yes, that’s about three or four days before the arrival.


  443. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  444. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  445. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    There was definitely discussion about the intelligence around what the potential makeup of the convoy and the blockade would be. And as I discussed earlier in my testimony, the -- those sentiments, anti-government, anti-authority, were definitely -- they were dynamics that we were alive to in trying to understand, not only the objective, which was expressly stated at the outset in the manifesto, but the degree to which the blockade and the occupation would resist law enforcement and become entrenched.


  446. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  447. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I am, yes.


  448. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  449. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  450. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I can’t speak to the exact nature of the charges, but I do recall he was arrested, yes.


  451. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Not only do I remember the tweet, I remember some of the reporting around that time, and I was, again, extremely concerned that by sheer size of the crowd, that they would try to impose themselves on the PPS. And if memory serves, there were a couple of what I would describe as brushes with law enforcement on the Hill, where PPS was there on the stairs trying to, I think, urge calm and to hold back from allowing the crowds to walk up towards Centre Block, and I think, actually, this is -- might have been closer to West Block., but the PPS officer was completely overwhelmed. And the concern -- the very real concern that I had at the time, was that that could immediately spill over into serious violence that would jeopardize the safety of everybody involved. And the former Parliamentarian in question, Randy Hillier, was, I think, clearly trying to provoke and incite people to follow him up the Hill.


  452. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  453. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  454. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  455. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  456. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  457. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  458. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I was. There were more details forthcoming once the invocation of the Emergencies Act was invoked around exactly how a number of law enforcement were going to coordinate. You know, there were details around Softec and HardTech and how it was all going to be sequenced, and that information, I think was reassuring that we were going to hopefully, with the skills of law enforcement, restore and maintain public safety.


  459. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  460. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yes, I do.


  461. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I suppose that was possible, but you know, I come back to and stress what I said earlier, which is that the most important conversation that I had that day was the call that I got from Commissioner Lucki around the situation in Coutts. And you know, the urgency and degree to which things really hung in the balance at that moment is what shed light on her state of mind, and it certainly informed the opinions and the advice that I shared with the government thereafter.


  462. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Thank you.


  463. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Was -- sorry, what is the date of this note?


  464. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well, look. Leaving that aside, yes, I was ---


  465. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Okay. Yes, I was aware that CSIS had concluded that section 2 under the CSIS Act was not met. I was aware of that fact.


  466. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    I appreciate the spoiler alert, given the witness who testified who has an abundance of police experience under his belt. But I would say this is precisely the type of question that really ought to be explored through the ongoing deliberations of this Commission, and I suppose, Your Honour, I would impart a few principles to you, as you are trying to think through exactly where to delineate the boundaries. One is, as I said, we don’t want elected politicians to go behind the veil and politicize the constituent elements of the traditional administration of justice, so exactly what kinds of investigations are being conducted, who lays charges, whether or not those charges proceed to trial, whether or not there are any sanctions or remedies that flow from that. That is all properly within either the independent discretion of police or the Crown. And I believe that those should be protected as sacrosanct as part of our democracy. On the other hand, police and the elected government do not operate as two solitudes, that there does have to be an ongoing channel of communication around how it is that we support one another in maintaining public safety. And there are some customs that have developed over time in how we strike that balance. One is, as I hope I've been able to demonstrate today, through the authorities that are exercised by the office that I occupy in ensuring accountability, in pressing for questions and obtaining information so that we can be sure that law enforcement have all of the tools that they need and the resources that they need to maintain public safety, and where they don’t, to give those things that they don’t have to them so that they can restore it and then maintain it. That is something that I did in the course of the blockades and the occupation in the case of Alberta, where ---


  467. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Yeah. So then I think that the question then becomes, you know, how far can elected governments go in identifying priorities? And I think it will depend very much on the circumstances, but one, again, I think established threshold that already exists by convention under the police service agreements that we have is that Provincial Ministers of Justice are able to form the opinion of where an emergency exists. And why is that important? Because once that is -- once that opinion has been formed, then resources can be deployed. I think that that is a principle that might be potentially expanded or that could be explored on a national scale, because then there might be a way to stitch together the way law enforcements operate and cooperate at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels. I do think though, as you consider that question, that you also have to, I think, take an inventory and a landscape of the big gap that exists right now between provincial police services acts and the Emergencies Act. And the Emergencies Act does afford the elected government a fair bit of scope and latitude. But what we did here was rather than just divine those tools, we looked to law enforcement to identify where those gaps existed and then used that to fill them in with the regulations under the Emergencies Act to address the situation at hand. It will be very much driven by the particular circumstances of each case. So coming back to your hypothetical, I think it is possible, and it doesn’t have to be even Ontario, but let’s assume your hypothetical was in Alberta. It is open to the Minister of the Solicitor General there, or the Minister of Public Safety in Alberta, to determine which of those two may constitute an emergency or not. And by exercising that discretion, then open the door to granting the requests of assistance to deploy additional resources and to make that decision on the basis of the police, who can then operationalize where to go first based on where the emergency is at. So I hope that’s helpful.


  468. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  469. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)



  470. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Well again, I mean, I -- and I want to be as responsive as I possibly can be, and we are working with a hypothetical, but I guess the most -- the dilemma would be if both events were absolutely identical, would it be appropriate for the elected government to sort of pick? And I tend to -- I’m inclined to agree with Minister Blair, that that’s not the kind of choice or dilemma you want. On the other hand, if they’re not completely identical and there is a threshold question as to whether or not one poses an emergency as opposed to the other, then I think on the basis of some conventions that already exist under the Police Services Agreement, it may be appropriate for elected government to say, “No, there is an emergency here,” and that then opens the door to deploying police services. But I think going beyond that, for example, the number of police officers, precisely the type of equipment that is used, all of the other things that I’ve already outlined to you, elected governments should steer wide clear of that, and for good reason. I think there is a slippery slope there that would be very difficult to escape from if we went down that path.


  471. Marco Mendicino, Minister (GC-PS)

    Thank you. Merci.