Sajeda Hedaraly

Sajeda Hedaraly spoke 78 times across 2 days of testimony.

  1. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Good morning, Superintendent Earley.


  2. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    My name is Sajeda Hedaraly. I'm Commission Counsel, and I will be asking you some questions this morning.


  3. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I'm going to continue where my colleague left off on February 11th. A lot of things happened that day. On that day, the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice also granted an injunction prohibiting a blockade on the Ambassador Bridge. Can you explain briefly how you used this injunction and if you found it helpful in terms of the blockade?


  4. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I'd like to pull up your notes, please, at OPP00004551. If we go down to page 9, there is a note at 4:58 p.m. that says: "[P]rotesters are getting ready to leave now that injunction stands - intel from crowd." What was the source of this Intelligence?


  5. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And so it says that protesters are getting to leave. Did some leave because of the injunction?


  6. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    On February 11th there was also a province-wide emergency declared by Premier Ford under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. How did that impact the blockade?


  7. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Did you find that one of these two tools, the emergency measures or the injunction, was more or less useful than the other, did they work in conjunction? Can you just explain a little more?


  8. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Great. So we talked a little bit earlier about resources that were necessary for the plan to be implemented on the 12th.


  9. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    One of the things that the plan required is towing capacity.


  10. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Correct? So where did you obtain tow trucks?


  11. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So first for the local company that Windsor Police Service had a contract with, was there any issues with their willingness to assist in the context of the protests?


  12. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And as for the tow trucks that came from Detroit, I’d like to pull up WPS000001090, please. This is an email from Chief Minuzo (sic) to Deputy Chief Bellaire that forwards an email from the Michigan government. In there, we see that the -- that Michigan doesn’t have state resources to offer but are willing to put the Windsor Police Service in touch with private contractors. And as you can see, Chief Minuzo (sic) says they have no machinery or tow trucks to offer. “Please let the team know there is no assistance in tow trucks or machinery from the U.S.”. Were you made aware of the fact that the States didn’t have tow trucks to offer?


  13. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And when did you obtain the tow trucks from Michigan?


  14. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And I understand that they weren’t used in the end?


  15. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    When did they leave?


  16. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I understand that the blockade was only cleared on the following day?


  17. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Why were the trucks sent back to the U.S. if the blockade wasn’t cleared yet?


  18. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    As for the resources that were required, I understand that you also arranged for road barriers to hold areas that were cleared?


  19. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    What did you get to use as road barriers, what kind of resources?


  20. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Were there any issues in securing any of these resources?


  21. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So we also talked earlier about the officers that you needed to carry out the plans. I understand there were frontline officers, POUs, et cetera. I understand that you also had RCMP POU officers?


  22. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Do you know how many RCMP officers were deployed in Windsor?


  23. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Do you know where the RCMP officers came from?


  24. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I’d like to pull up DOJ.IR.60, rows 11, please, at page 55. At point 250, if we scroll down a little bit, there’s a note that on February 10th, the Windsor Police Service contacted the Minister of Public Safety to request RCMP assistance with respect to the Ambassador Bridge.


  25. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    That same day, the RCMP deployed a TSG that was deployed in Ottawa to Windsor. I understand that a TSG is a Tactical Support Group? To your knowledge, is that the unit that came to Windsor?


  26. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    We can pull that down, Mr. Clerk. Thank you. I understand that OPP also deployed PLT ---


  27. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    --- members to Windsor? One of the recommendations that you made in your witness summary is that there should be a PLT unit in the Windsor Police Service and PLT training should be provided to Windsor Police officers. Could you please expand on why you made that recommendation?


  28. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Would you make a similar recommendation regarding POU training that all municipal forces, perhaps, should have that sort of training?


  29. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So you mentioned earlier today to my colleague that by the end of February 11 you had all the resources that you needed ---


  30. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    --- for your plan, and that you implemented it on the morning of February 12th. I understand that one of the reasons that it started early in the morning is that there would be fewer protestors and that no children were likely to be present according to intelligence.


  31. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Did you have a contingency plan in place in case there were, indeed, children present?


  32. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And so while we’re on the contingency plan, can you explain the importance of having those kinds of plans in place and how you decide what to prepare for as contingencies?


  33. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So on the morning of February 12th, you start implementing the plan.


  34. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Please explain how the plan was carried out?


  35. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I’d like to pull up COMM00000926, please, Mr. Clerk. This is a map of Windsor and will maybe help explain the planning by phases that you briefly alluded to earlier.


  36. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Or explain more visually how it happened.


  37. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So you explained earlier today that the plan was to clear the protestors in phases ---


  38. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    --- because the area was perhaps too large to do it all at once.


  39. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Can you explain a little further what the phases were and how they were carried out?


  40. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And I understand that after each area was cleared, you would use the resources that we discussed earlier to block passage?


  41. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Then once the whole area was cleared after the three phases were completed, that brought us to February 13th?


  42. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And that’s when the traffic plan came into place? Is that right?


  43. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Can you explain a little bit more what the traffic plan in itself entailed?


  44. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Were local residents able to cross Huron Church at any point with their personal vehicles?


  45. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    This is, I think, what Deputy Chief Crowley yesterday referred to as an area of control?


  46. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And I think you referred to it in your interview as an exclusion zone?


  47. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Under which authority did you create the exclusion zone?


  48. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And I understand that there were RCMP frontline resources that ---


  49. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    --- arrived, as you mentioned little earlier.


  50. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And I also understand that there was a delay in swearing them in? Is that right?


  51. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And why was it necessary to swear in these officers, or would it have been useful?


  52. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And it’s one of the recommendations that you also made in your interview, that the process for granting RCMP officers provincial and municipal authorities be streamlined.


  53. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    What was the difficulty in getting them sworn in?


  54. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    And did it cause any delay that you had to change your plan to pair RCMP officers with OPP or Windsor Police Service officers?


  55. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So if we go to the next day, on February 14th, the Emergencies Act was invoked by the Federal Government.


  56. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    In your view, did it have any impact on the situation in Windsor?


  57. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Yesterday Deputy Chief Crowley mentioned that it may have been dissuasive to the protestors ---


  58. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    --- to come back. Would you agree?


  59. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Was there a clear plan that you were aware of that the protestors wanted to re-blockade the Ambassador Bridge after it was cleared on the 12th and the 13th?


  60. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I think your notes, and I can put them up if that would be helpful, also mention that once the injunction is expired they are looking to blockade again.


  61. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Was that also a consideration that the injunction was going to expire?


  62. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So did you think that the renewal of the injunction on February 18th was helpful in preventing that?


  63. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So as of February 20th, I understand that you adopted a Demobilisation Plan?


  64. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    What is a Demobilisation Plan?


  65. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Maybe for the record we could put it up. It's WPS000000719. I believe at page 4. Perhaps scroll down a little bit. Is this what you were referring to?


  66. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    So I see that the latest potential reopening date is March 13th?


  67. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Why would it take about three weeks to clear all the intersections?


  68. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Do you know when they were ultimately reopened, the last intersection?


  69. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I understand you stopped being Critical Incident Commander in Windsor on February 23rd?


  70. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    How was the transition of command from yourself to the Windsor Police Service?


  71. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I'd like to take you back to another of your recommendations before we end. You mentioned that the Critical Incident Commander should visit frontline officers and ask them what they need.


  72. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    I understand that that's something that you did ---


  73. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    --- in Windsor?


  74. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Is this uncommon?


  75. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    This is the last document that I'll take you to today. If we could please put up OPP00004552, page 26. Those are the scribe notes from February 13th. At 12:17... So if we can scroll down a little bit. ...Commissioner Carrique thanked you for having performed to perfection on world stage. What for you made the Windsor Operation such a success?


  76. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Is there anything else that you would like to say to the Commission that we haven't asked you this morning?


  77. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Those are all my questions for you, Superintendent. Thank you very much for your time.


  78. Sajeda Hedaraly, Counsel (POEC)

    Good morning, Mr. Commissioner. For the record, I'm Sajeda Hedaraly, Commission Counsel. As mentioned by Mr. Leon, this presentation is a summary of the comments that the Commission received from the public. It would be impossible to attempt to convey every point made in the over 9,000 submissions we received in this presentation, but we hope to convey important parts of what was shared with us. As you will see, we have organised the presentation around various themes that were collated from the comments that we received. La présentation de ce matin sera bilingue. Les personnes qui ont besoin d’un casque d’écoute devraient les garder à portée de main. So first... If we can go to the next slide, please, Mr. Clerk. D’abord, parlons du contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19 qui a été exprimé par plusieurs membres du public. Plusieurs personnes ont discuté d’un sentiment d’exclusion et d’isolement qui était dû ou bien de leur statut vaccinal ou de leurs opinions contre les mesures sanitaires. Si on pouvait aller à la prochaine diapositive, s’il vous plait. Selon ces personnes, ces commentaires que nous avons reçus, les mesures sanitaires ont été en place pendant trop longtemps et ceci a aggravé les difficultés que ces personnes éprouvaient dans les autres sphères de la société — par exemple le travail, les évènements sociaux, et cetera — et ils sentaient une certaine discrimination due à la politisation des questions entourant le statut vaccinal. We also heard from people who felt pride in the convoy. For them, the convoy brought a sense of belonging among people who shared similar views on the pandemic. These people had a sense of obligation to participate in these protests to defend the rights and freedoms of Canadians. Some of those people also acknowledged the impact on the Ottawa residents of the protests, but in their view the Nation's Capital belonged to all Canadians and they were still justified to be there. They were proud to have been part of an important grassroots movement. Ces mêmes personnes avaient généralement une vision pacifique des manifestations. Par exemple, nous avons ici une citation d’un manifestant qui nous dit qu’il a été touché par la gentillesse et le respect dont ont fait preuve ses concitoyens canadiens pendant les manifestations. Plusieurs personnes nous ont fait part du fait que les trois semaines de manifestation à Ottawa ont été absentes de violence, de vandalisme, de misogynie, de racisme et de haine. Les écarts qu’on pouvait voir de haine, comme des pancartes sur lesquelles on voyait des injures, étaient les exceptions. Au contraire, ce qui émanait des manifestations pour ces personnes était des bonnes actions de la part des manifestants, la distribution de nourriture, le nettoyage de rues, le pelletage de neige, et cetera. We also received comments from community members who were affected by the protests. Many people expressed that their mental health was impacted by the protests. Some felt trapped in their homes. Next slide, please, Mr. Clerk. The continuous honking was disturbing to them. They also had difficulty breathing and headaches due to the diesel emissions from stationary truck engines. They also talked about the impact of road closures and limited public transport. For example, various appointments had to be rescheduled for health services. They also reported lack of mental health support. Ces personnes craignaient également pour leur sécurité. Ils trouvaient qu’ils n’avaient jamais vu autant de personnes commettre des crimes et mettre les autres en danger pour des opinions politiques. Ces personnes avaient une expérience régulière d’anxiété, de stress, de colère et de peur face aux évènements. Certains nous ont également parlé du harcèlement et du comportement agressif qu’ils ont vus de la part de manifestants ou qu’ils ont vécus. Certains, par exemple, ont été ciblés et interpelés pour avoir porté des masques dans des espaces publics et — si nous allons à la prochaine diapositive, s’il vous plait — certains avaient l’impression que des manifestants s’étaient donné pour mission personnelle d’intimider les personnes masquées à Ottawa. Certains groupes avaient peur de quitter leur domicile spécifiquement parce qu’ils trouvaient qu’ils avaient un risque accru de faire l’objet d’un discours haineux et plusieurs personnes ont également estimé que la police ne les protégeaient pas parce qu’ils signalaient des incidents, mais que ceux-ci ne faisaient pas l’objet d’enquêtes et ils trouvaient que les lois et les règlements n’étaient pas appliqués. We’ve also heard a lot about disruption to daily life. We have here a quote: “I’m a 65-year-old retired high school teacher, who relies on my volunteering shifts at the museum to remain active, both physically and mentally. The prolonged COVID shutdown of the museum was difficult for me, and the ensuing protest exacerbated the personal impact.” (As read) These personal impacts included deprivation of peace, quiet, and sleep. Many people also reported being unable to work effectively or work at all. And as mentioned earlier, many residents had to make drastic changes to their schedules. There were also impacts on non-governmental organizations and charity who had to adjust their services and could not serve the community in the way that they would have hoped to. There were also impacts on local businesses and services. Residents reported difficulties obtaining various services or getting groceries, for example, and some downtown businesses also had to close, which resulted in an important loss of income which was particularly important to them because of the previous COVID-19 measures that had been imposed. Les membres du public qui s’opposaient aux manifestations nous disent qu’ils soutiennent la liberté d’expression, mais que les limites étaient dépassées ici. Lorsque la liberté d’une personne à s’exprimer empiétait sur leurs droits, ils trouvaient que ça allait trop loin; même s’ils supportaient la liberté d’expression, ils pensaient qu’il y avait des limites qui devaient être imposées. Un membre du public nous a dit : « Les manifestants parlaient de liberté, mais pas de leurs responsabilités en tant que citoyens. » Pour ces personnes, les manifestations portaient atteinte à la démocratie canadienne — nous y reviendrons un peu plus tard dans la présentation. Ces personnes qui s’opposaient aux manifestations avaient un sentiment de colère du fait que les manifestants prétendaient s’exprimer au nom de tous les Canadiens et Canadiennes alors que ce n’était pas le cas. Pour plusieurs personnes, les manifestations n’étaient plutôt qu’une opportunité pour des individus frustrés de participer à un évènement unique et de bruler un excès d’énergie au nom de la liberté, mais sans plus. Let’s now turn to media coverage of the protests. We’ve heard several comments on misrepresentation and excessive media coverage. We have a comment here: “Media lied about all of it. They wanted people not in Ottawa to think the protesters were a bunch of redneck hooligans causing mayhem.” (As read) This is fairly representative of many comments that we received, which expressed low levels of trust for mainstream media compared to new media such as YouTube or other social media. In their view, mainstream media was misrepresenting the facts surrounding the protests, and in their view that was often because these organizations receive subsidies from the States and therefore are mouthpieces for the government. Many people also expressed that excessive media coverage of the exceptions in Ottawa, who displayed signs with profanity or historical symbols -- historical hate symbols, were being represented excessively and didn’t actually represent the people who were at the protests, and these people expressed emotional distress at being associated with these hateful symbols. On nous a également parlé du discours du gouvernement fédéral par rapport aux manifestants et manifestantes et que celui-ci visait à diviser la population. Pour plusieurs personnes, les représentants et représentantes politiques au fédéral cherchaient à discréditer le mouvement du convoi, ils ne cherchaient qu’à alimenter, selon eux, la trame narrative selon laquelle les manifestants ne représentaient qu’une minorité. Ce discours a affecté négativement l’opinion du public à l’égard des manifestants et ceux-ci, tel que mentionné plus tôt, se sentaient ostracisés et avaient de la détresse émotionnelle à ce sujet. Indeed, for those people the government used a double standard when it dealt with protests. It perceived that the federal government had different standards when it came to different types of protests. They expressed that in recent years there had been numerous protests of a violent nature in Canada that led to various blockades, for example, led by different groups with different interests than theirs, and yet the Act had never been invoked to deal with these excesses; and, indeed, the Prime Minister had met with most of these groups. Those people found that the invocation of the Act not only was disproportionate but was also vindictive toward protesters with whom the government did not share values. Plusieurs nous ont dit que les manifestations auraient pu être résolues de manière pacifique si seulement des négociations avaient eu lieu. Tout ce qu’il y avait à faire, comme nous dit ce manifestant, « tout ce qu’il y avait à faire était de s’entretenir avec les camionneurs et résoudre le problème, mais au lieu de cela, on a choisi d’appeler les personnes ‘a small fringe minority with unacceptable views’ ». Ce que les manifestants voulaient, ils nous disent dans leurs soumissions publiques, c’était une forme de dialogue, une conversation, ils voulaient simplement que leurs opinions soient prises en compte, mais, pour eux, il y avait un manque de volonté de la part du gouvernement fédéral d’entendre d’autres points de vue et de résoudre la situation de manière pacifique. Certains ajoutent même qu’en signe de bonne volonté, des camions avaient été déplacés et qu’on s’attendait à ce que cette action conduise à de nouvelles négociations avec des représentants du gouvernement et ça n’a pas fonctionné, et on nous a exprimé que c’était similaire… l’utilisation de la Loi suite à ce geste de bonne volonté équivalait à un abus de pouvoir. On nous a notamment mentionné que les blocages à Coutts et à Windsor avaient été levés avant l’invocation de la Loi, ce qui, à leurs yeux, justifiait… justifie leur opinion que l’invocation de la Loi était un abus. We have heard of many different kinds of frustrations against politicians. This time, in this slide, expresses frustrations towards politicians who supported the protests, rather than those who didn’t meet with the protesters. So some people expressed that extra frustration because some politicians chose to support the protesters for what seemed to be merely political gain, and for them the invocation of the Act was the only possible outcome to clear the occupation, and all political debates and discussions between different political parties were unnecessary and non- collaborative and not in the best interest of residents, especially in Ottawa. Ce sentiment d’abandon nous a été exprimé par plusieurs personnes qui nous ont aussi parlé de leur perte de confiance envers les autorités. Ce sentiment d’abandon était également étendu à la police en raison de son inaction dans l’application des lois et plusieurs se demandaient comment trois forces policières à Ottawa n’ont pas pu contenir une manifestation qui était pourtant prévisible et ils nous ont mentionné que la Loi n’aurait peut-être pas été nécessaire si la police avait été mieux organisée et agi plus tôt. On se demandait également les raisons pour lesquelles des outils règlementaires n’avaient pas été utilisés, tels que des contraventions. Une personne nous a également dit que l’inaction de la police a incité des résidents et résidentes à se rassembler pour empêcher l’accès à plus de camions au centre- ville et le counter-protest dont nous avons entendu parler préalablement. This leads to the next point. Some people told us the Act might not have been necessary if law enforcement had acted earlier. People spoke of failures by multiple levels of government. For the City of Ottawa, they said that the City should have limited truck access to designated zones throughout the city, which would have avoided the blockade, what they call a blockade. They also say that the Ottawa Police remained inactive, despite various complaints that they received of harassment and intimidation by residents of Ottawa. We were also told that -- we also received criticisms concerning the Province of Ontario, that only took action once the economic impacts of the border blockade in Windsor became apparent. And these people told us that Ontario could have dealt with the crisis, but instead passed on responsibility to the Federal Government. And of course, we also received criticism from the Federal Government -- about the Federal Government’s actions, pardon. Je vais maintenant me tourner plus spécifi… plus généralement à des commentaires sur l’invocation de la Loi. Je vous parlerai d’abord de ceux qui trouvaient l’invocation de la Loi nécessaire avant de discuter de ceux qui la trouvaient injustifiée. Pour ceux qui la trouvaient nécessaire, l’invocation de la Loi a apporté un soulagement. Les résultats qui ont suivi l’invocation de la Loi, pour ces personnes, ont montré sa nécessité, le fait que c’est ce qui a permis de dégager les foules et d'ouvrir les routes. La Loi a permis aux résidents d’Ottawa de retrouver un semblant de vie normale et un sentiment de sécurité et, pour plusieurs personnes, de regagner leur domicile parce qu’ils l’avaient quitté. Pour ces personnes, l’invocation de la Loi est une réponse tout à fait appropriée, mesurée et ciblée pour mettre fins aux manifestations. Ces personnes nous ont également parlé du fait que les éléments extrémistes et violents du convoi présentaient un danger pour les Canadiens et pour la démocratie. Pour eux, toutes les autres options avaient été épuisées, il s’agissait effectivement d’un dernier recours. Le gouvernement fédéral avait la responsabilité d’agir afin de protéger la population, et ce, par tous les moyens possibles. We’ve also heard from others that the invocation of the Act was unjustified and inappropriate. For those people, the protests in Ottawa were peaceful and did not meet the requirements needed to invoke the Act. There was no serious or immediate danger to the lives, health, or safety of Canadians. The Act was invoked while all other options had not been exhausted, and that led to violent confrontations between police and protestors. These people also told us that existing laws should have been enforced by local and provincial authorities, the Criminal Code, notably, other laws, and bylaws, could have been sufficient to manage any illegal behaviour. For them, the decision to use the Act was a political one by frustrated federal officials who had no sympathy for the protestors. On nous a parlé de craintes au moment de la déclaration de la situation de crise. Une personne par exemple nous a dit, une fois que la Loi a été adoptée, il se posait des questions : « Mon compte bancaire serait-il gelé parce que j’avais partagé des vidéos du convoi sur mes réseaux sociaux? Je suis allé à la banque et j’ai vidé mon compte. » « Serai-je arrêté pour avoir été présent au convoi à Ottawa? J’ai décidé de ne pas attendre et de voir ce qui était pour se passer. J’ai fui le pays. » Et plus tard, il me dit : « Lorsque la Loi a été invoquée, on m’a montré qu’aucune loi, constitution ou charte n’est au-dessus d’eux — du gouvernement — et que la Loi ne m’offre aucune protection. » Ces craintes étaient multiples : il y a eu des craintes de violence physique par la police, une peur à la vue de gaz lacrymogènes, peur à la vue de la force utilisée pour déplacer et remorquer des camions, la peur de faire l’objet d’une enquête et d’être arrêté pour des activités antérieures à l’invocation de la Loi, la crainte de répercussions pour avoir appuyer en ligne les manifestants, une crainte que ses comptes bancaires soient gelés et d’ainsi perdre ses moyens de subsistance, et certains ont quitté ou ont considéré quitter le pays. Ça nous amène aux impacts directs de la Loi sur la vie des manifestants et des gens qui les ont appuyés. Some people reported that they suffered physical injury from the use of cayenne pepper, batons, and anti-riot gear. Many found themselves in a precarious situation because of their inability to access their bank accounts for various periods of time, and many questioned their trust in banking institutions. Cette perte de confiance est également étendue envers le gouvernement et les institutions, notamment la police et les banques. Pour certaines personnes, l’invocation de la Loi a créé un précédent risqué, elle était perçue comme une attaque contre tout groupe qui a des opinions opposées à celles du gouvernement. Certaines personnes nous ont également dit qu’elles ne feraient plus de dons à des organismes de bienfaisance parce qu’elles auraient peur de ce qui arriverait à leur compte bancaire si ces organismes s’opposaient au gouvernement au pouvoir dans l’avenir. Pour ces personnes, leurs droits liés à la liberté d’expression et à la manifestation ont été détruits. This lost of trust for some also led to persistent fear of the government and of institutions. Some people expressed that they were now anxious to participate in general political discourse because of the repercussions it might have in their lives. They were scared of being monitored for their political view, and they also are now scared in the presence of police and are scared of being arrested for their political views. D’autres personnes nous ont également invoqué un sentiment de peur pour des raisons différentes. Nous avons ici quelqu’un qui nous dit : « Au fur et à mesure que les manifestations se poursuivaient, j’ai commencé à réaliser qu’elles étaient plus antigouvernementales qu’antivaccins. C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai commencé à avoir peur. Ces gens réclamaient le renversement du gouvernement et, au fil des semaines, personne ne les arrêtait. J’ai commencé à avoir peur pour notre pays. » En effet, ces personnes avaient une anxiété par rapport à la chute des systèmes démocratiques au Canada. Pour eux, le cynisme… ils avaient du cynisme relativement à l’affichage continu de rhétoriques anti-gouvernementales, ils soulignaient qu’il s’agissait là d’un nouveau phénomène qui était plutôt inquiétant. Ils exhortent… ces personnes exhortent les institutions à prendre au sérieux les menaces envers le système démocratique au pays; ce type de mouvement peut ressurgir à tout moment et ces personnes voyaient les manifestations de janvier-février dernier comme un signal d’alerte pour ce qui pourrait se reproduire à l’avenir. We have also heard about the damage and changing perception to Canadian symbols. We have heard of people who are now anxious when they see Canadian flags, while they used to be proud of being Canadians. A community member told us, “I want my flag back, quite simply.” For these people, the image of the Canadian flag has changed, its symbolism has been tainted, and they were heartbroken by the use of Canadian symbols by the protestors. They now associate these symbols with the protests, with hate speech, and with intolerance. And they were -- these people do not understand the casual behaviour of the authorities. The use of the flag for political purposes, and also the symbolic gesture of flying it upside altered people’s attachments to the Canadian flag and their sense of pride, and they now have a sense of distrust when they see cars flying a Canadian flag. On nous a également exprimé une inquiétude par rapport à la réputation du Canada à l’international, et ce, de tous bords tous côtés. Certaines personnes ont exprimé un sentiment de honte à l’égard de la gestion de la manifestation par les autorités et, pour ces personnes, c’est l’inaction du gouvernement face aux manifestations et l’attention médiatique qui a été accordée qui a atteint la réputation du Canada. Pour d’autres, c’est l’invocation de la Loi sur les mesures d’urgence qui était injustifiée et qui a nui à la réputation du Canada en tant que société démocratique qui ne laissait pas les gens exprimer leurs opinions. Donc, d’abord, la perte de fierté dans l’identité canadienne — un peu comme on a discuté tantôt avec le drapeau — en raison de l’association du convoi avec des éléments extrémistes; pour ces personnes, avait également un impact sur la réputation du Canada à l’international. Et des gens nous ont également exprimé une inquiétude par rapport à la relation entre le Canada et les États-Unis, notamment des blocages aux postes frontaliers. Cet impact, pour ces personnes, a un impact tant symbolique, économique, que diplomatique sur les relations du Canada avec le reste du monde. Et d’autres personnes, tel que mentionné plus tôt, se sentent au contraire moins en sécurité relativement à leur capacité à faire des affaires au Canada, par exemple en raison du gel de leurs comptes bancaires. We have also heard some concerns over foreign influence. There was a perception that the online donations allowed foreign donors to interfere in a domestic issue, and people -- many people believed that the convoy was inspired by the events of January 6th, 2021, in the United States Capitol. There was a widespread belief that far right ideologies and anti-government rhetoric is growing and spreading, and that that was reinforced by actors in the United States during the protests. Passons maintenant aux recommandations du public. D’abord, les recommandations du public relativement à la Loi sur les mesures d’urgence spécifiquement et ensuite nous irons à des recommandations plus générales par le public. Par rapport à la Loi, plusieurs personnes nous ont dit qu’il ne devrait pas être possible d’invoquer la Loi par simple majorité au Parlement. Le seuil pour invoquer la Loi devrait être plus restrictif, et on nous a donné plusieurs suggestions sur les façons avec lesquelles ça pourrait être plus restrictif. On nous a également dit que le pouvoir d’invoquer la Loi devrait faire preuve d’une plus grande surveillance de la part d’autres institutions gouvernementales. Et enfin, on nous a dit que les termes et le langage dans la Loi devraient être mieux définis. On nous a dit que la Loi avait eu pour effet de permettre aux forces de l’ordre de travailler ensemble à Ottawa et de supprimer des frontières juridictionnelles, et donc, on nous a dit qu’à l’avenir la Loi devrait être revue pour que les différents niveaux d’intervention soient ajustés en fonction de la gravité de la situation. Spécifiquement par rapport à la région de la Capitale nationale, on nous a dit que la Loi devrait tenir compte des compétences… des problèmes de compétences uniques auxquels est confrontée la région d’Ottawa et que plus de clarté était nécessaire concernant le rôle des différents corps policiers dans le maintien de l’ordre à Ottawa. I'm sorry, can you go back to the previous slide. Thank you. Plusieurs personnes nous ont dit que le seuil pour invoquer la Loi doit rester élevé pour s’assurer que son utilisation n’est pas disproportionnée par rapport à la gravité de la situation. Finally, let's turn to general recommendations from the public. Many people told us that future protests should always require a permit and that the use of motorised vehicles in a protest should be prohibited. We also heard that a by-law or a law to mitigate engine idling should be adopted. In times of crisis, various legal entities and government bodies must coordinate with one another to resolve jurisdictional disputes. And we were told that that should be clarified. We also were told that there should be more consequences, more legal consequences for people who deliberately spread lies, misinformation and hate, and that social media platforms that host mis-information and dis-information should also be targeted by such laws. We were told that the use of the Confederate flag and other hate symbols in Canada should be banned, and that the government must do better to educate and prevent the radicalisation of Canadians. Laws that curtail foreign funding of anti-democratic group and movements within Canada should be enacted. There should be a firmer application of standard behaviour in police forces and in military forces, and screening practices for hiring these personnel is necessary. And finally, we were told that there should be better support for the press and journalists, given their essential function in countering mis-information and dis-information. I will now pass the baton back to Mr. Leon, who will conclude with a few quotations from the comments that we have received. Encore une fois, merci à tous ceux et celles qui ont participé au processus de soumissions publiques. Your input is very much appreciated by the Commission.