Thomas McRae

Thomas McRae spoke 132 times across 11 days of testimony.

  1. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Good morning. My name is Tom McRae. Together with my co-counsel, Heather Paterson, in the corner there, we represent Windsor Police Service, from the firm of Shibley Righton, both in Toronto and Windsor. Now, the Windsor Police Service was the first responder with respect to the Ambassador Bridge closures. We are looking forward to giving evidence as to how the Windsor Police Service fulfilled its duty to the City and its residents, all the while dealing with a protest that was, in effect, focused on blocking an international border. We did acknowledge the significant support we had from the police from across the border, and are doing so, and we look forward to working with the Commission, the parties, and their counsel in this effort. Thank you.


  2. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, sir. Good evening, Commissioner Carrique. My name's Tom McRae. I'm here for the Windsor Police Service. Can you hear me?


  3. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you very much. I only have a couple of questions, I think. First, my friend Mr. Curry, representing former Chief Sloly, took you to Supt. Earley's witness statement prepared in this proceeding. Prior to today, had you seen that statement?


  4. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay, thank you. I think your evidence was this morning that the Windsor Police Service was the service of jurisdiction in the area of the Ambassador Bridge; is that correct?


  5. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And the Ambassador Bridge, if I recall your evidence correctly, is a very important international border crossing within Canada, correct?


  6. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Your evidence, as I recall, you said it both this morning and to Mr. Curry, was that on February 8th, the OPP established what I think you referred to as a POU hub; is that correct?


  7. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. And the purpose of the Public Order Hub was to ensure the fair distribution of Public Order Units to areas of importance throughout the province; is that fair?


  8. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. As the Police Service of jurisdiction at the Ambassador Bridge, is it correct that the Windsor Police Service and/or the City of Windsor would have to assume certain costs regarding the disposition of things like Public Order Unit officers attending in Windsor, such as their food and lodging?


  9. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    No, the other units that were sent through the POU Hub.


  10. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    All right. Thank you very much. Those are my questions.


  11. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. I am Tom McRae for the Windsor Police Service. We have no questions for Mayor Dilkens and give our time, if we may, to the City of Windsor. Thank you.


  12. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. I am Tom McRae for Windsor Police Service.


  13. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Can I ask you to go, please, to a document that was shown to you earlier, WPS000001441, please? Could you please tell us whose flashes are on that first page?


  14. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    In addition to those police services, who else assisted Windsor Police Service in its operations at the Ambassador Bridge?


  15. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. Could I ask, Mr. Clerk, that you call up the witness statement of Catherine Diodati. It's 00000062. For context, Ms. Diodati is a protester who was present in Windsor. I understand the Commission does not intend to call her but intends to submit her witness statement in evidence. Could you go, please, to the third page, about halfway down. A little more. That's perfect. That's perfect. It says: "At 7:00 p.m., the injunction came into effect. Ms. Diodati said that by 7:30 p.m., a young police officer was handing out sheets of paper which explained the terms of the injunction and the potential consequences for failing to comply with it, including fines and confiscation of property." (As read) Can you assist the Commission, Deputy Chief, by advising us as to the best of your knowledge what other efforts were made to inform the public of the terms of the injunction, and generally, the legal consequences of the protest?


  16. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. The statement continues: "Ms. Diodati said she asked the officer 'What does this mean in terms of legality of protests? Will someone arrest us?' She observed that the officer was shaking, which surprised her. She said that she thought that the officer must have heard that the protesters were violent, so she told the officer 'You're safe. It's okay. None of us have ever been violent.'" (As read) Was there violence during the context of -- or during this blockade at the Ambassador Bridge?


  17. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    The next paragraph, it says: "On Saturday, February 12th, Ms. Diodati went to Huron Church Road near College Road. Ms. Diodati said the area was barricaded by the police and the intersection looked like a war zone, which did not fit with the joyful atmosphere. Ms. Diodati recalled that she also spoke to a police officer from the East Coast. She said, 'Look at these heavy armoured vehicles and firearms, what are you planning to do with us?" On the 12th, were there armoured vehicles in the neighbourhood of the Ambassador Bridge?


  18. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    What was their purpose?


  19. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Other than these policing purposes you described, is there any -- was there any other purpose for these ---


  20. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    --- vehicles?


  21. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    You told my friend, Mr. Migicovsky for the Ottawa Police, that the chief and the deputy chief did not get involved in your Critical Incident Command. Was there any political involvement in any of your decisions with respect to the Ambassador Bridge blockade?


  22. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. Those are my questions.


  23. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner.


  24. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Good afternoon, Superintendent.


  25. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    My name is Tom McRae. I’m here for the Windsor Police Service. I only have a couple of questions.


  26. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I believe you told one of my friends earlier today that Windsor Police Service was responsible for the arrests that were made.


  27. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And they -- I take it that they were also responsible for developing the arrest plans. Is that correct?


  28. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And the prisoner transportation plans, too?


  29. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. There’s an organization that I’ve learned about called the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement. Are you aware of them?


  30. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And I understand that you were awarded, together with members of both the OPP and Windsor Police Service, with the teamwork award this past June. Is that correct?


  31. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And I also understand that it was Deputy Chief Crowley who put you up for that award. Is that correct?


  32. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Those are my questions. Thank you.


  33. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Good afternoon, Mr. Leschied. My name is Tom McRae, and I am here for the Windsor Police Service. First, I think you told my friend for Canada that you parked at a strip mall on Tecumseh; is that correct?


  34. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Did you have permission from the owner of that strip mall to park there?


  35. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. I understand from your evidence I think to you, again, my friend from Canada, that you used chat applications in your discussions with your friends ---


  36. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    --- during this. What chat applications did you use?


  37. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    How did you communicate with Mr. King in Ottawa?


  38. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. Did you have those messages available to you at the time when you were interviewed by Commission Counsel at the beginning of October?


  39. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Were you asked to give copies of those communications?


  40. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Have you produced any documents within this Commission hearing besides your statement?


  41. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. I understand that at one point you said you were not -- I want to get your evidence fairly, but you had no goals in attending other than -- I’m putting together your answers -- seeing what was happening because you didn’t trust conventional media, and to support your friends; is that fair?


  42. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    All right. And you didn’t support conventional media. Does that mean you did not observe conventional media?


  43. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. And on the radio or through these clips, did you learn about the injunction that was obtained by the City of Windsor on the 11th?


  44. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    So at no time did you learn about the injunction that the City of Windsor ---


  45. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. So you don’t know, and you did not check, to see whether or not that injunction was issued?


  46. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    You said you had friends whom you were supporting by your attending at the bridge site. Were any of these friends in the auto industry, employed in the auto industry?


  47. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Did you learn through your review on social media, or otherwise, of the views of people in the automobile industry?


  48. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Well, my friend from Canada showed you a video clip, the second one, which suggested that there were automobile shutdowns, the Ford plant, I think, and another plant, one in some township in Michigan. It’s clear, I put to you, sir, that the automobile industry, in particular, was being affected by the shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge; do you accept that?


  49. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. So you don’t know but you don’t disagree; is that fair?


  50. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    All right. Did you discuss the impact of the shutdown of any of these auto manufacturing facilities with anyone who was employed at any of these automobile manufacturing facilities?


  51. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Were you concerned at all with the impact of the shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge on any of these people employed at these facilities?


  52. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And at the time of this blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, there had been a shutdown -- a province-wide shutdown a month or so earlier; is that correct?


  53. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Excuse me, Mr. Commissioner. If we could go to your witness statement, and I will get the number wrong. It is WTS ---


  54. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Forty-nine (49); thank you. Could we pull that up, please, Mr. Clerk? (SHORT PAUSE)


  55. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Could you go, please sir, to the bottom of page 5 of that statement? And I’m focusing now, Mr. Leschied, on the events of Saturday, February 12th, 2022. Just to make it clear to the Commission, you did not attend on that day.


  56. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And I think your evidence was, and it is in this statement, that you were concerned that there would be skirmishes or mass arrests.


  57. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And you were of that view even though your evidence earlier, as I understand it, was you didn’t know that the police were warning that these protesters were engaged in criminal activity, nor did you know about the injunction; is that fair?


  58. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    The second-last paragraph of your statement, which is before you, sir, says: “Some of Mr. Leschied’s friends were present at the protest.” So you’re getting that second or thirdhand.


  59. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Is that correct?


  60. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    “They told him that some individuals were shouting slurs at the police.”


  61. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Did they disclose to you the nature of the slurs that were being shouted at the police?


  62. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    “His friends...” Meaning your friends:


  63. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    ...believed these were agents provocateurs...”


  64. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Sorry; so when we say, agents provocateurs, are we talking about false flag operations, in the language of Alex Jones, or what?


  65. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Yeah, but what was the motivation of these alleged agents provocateurs ?


  66. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Were they trying to provoke the police into action in order to create a problem that would just grow and grow, or were they provoking people in order ---


  67. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I object to that objection, Mr. Commissioner. For some reason the Commission put this in the witness statement. It is fair cross-examination fodder. The Commission is asking -- Commission Counsel are asking, pardon me, that the Commission take this as evidence. And if it’s second or third hearsay, well, I guess that goes to weight, but it doesn’t mean I cannot cross-examine on it.


  68. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I heard you but let’s -- I’m just trying to get as far as we can go with what he can say. Thank you.


  69. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    All right. I’ll take a step back. Sir, your friends told you that these agents provocateurs were trying to antagonize the police into using violence?


  70. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Do you have any insight as to why this stance changed at this time?


  71. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And by people, do you mean the protesters?


  72. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Did you disclose the identity of these friends to Commission Counsel during your interview


  73. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Have they been -- do you know if they’ve been interviewed by Commission Counsel?


  74. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    How did you come to be interviewed by Commission Counsel?


  75. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    When did that happen? Do you recall?


  76. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. Those are my questions.


  77. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Good evening, Mr. Commissioner. Tom McRae for the Windsor Police Service. We have no questions.


  78. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    So I apologize, no questions for Tom McRae for Windsor Police Service.


  79. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I'm here, Commissioner. I'm just having trouble starting my video. Thank you.


  80. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Good evening, Mr. Di Tommaso. Could I please -- my name is Tom McRae and I am acting for the Windsor Police Service. Could I please ask, Mr. Clerk, that you go to Mr. Di Tommaso's witness statement which is 00000041? If you could go to page 7 please, I'd be grateful. As I -- and I'm starting right here after "Request for Assistance and Policing Jurisdiction".


  81. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I'm sorry. There's a heading on -- oh, please scroll down, Mr. Clerk. We can't see it. There it is, there it is. Sorry. "Request for Assistance and Policing Jurisdiction." "Mr. Di Tommaso explained that the Police Services Act sets out how municipal police services are to make requests for assistance pursuant to section 9 --- "


  82. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Pardonnez-moi. "--- which applies when the chief of police is of the opinion that an emergency exists in the municipality." Mr. Clerk, could you please go now to Commission Document 00000819? This should be, if I got my number right, the Police Services Act. If you could scroll down to section 9, which is, I think, about seven pages in? Okay. Sorry, I'm wrong. Down some more, please. A little more. Okay. We're getting there. Yes. Could you go down to -- go down, scroll down a little more, please? If I can draw your attention, Mr. Di Tommaso, to subparagraph 6 of that Section 9 of the Police Services Act, is that the subsection of Section 9 that you were referring to in the first sentence of the paragraph in your witness we just went to?


  83. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Is it correct that there is no requirement in the Police Services Act that this request must be given in writing?


  84. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And if I can take your attention to the next subsection, it says, "A chief of police who makes a request under subsection (6) shall advise the chair of the board of the fact as soon as possible."


  85. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Is it, sir, that this subsection contemplates an emergency which is so vital that the Chief of Police would speak to the Commissioner before he speaks to the Chair of the Board?


  86. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    And, in fact, in those circumstances, it would be unreasonable or unnecessary for the initial request to be put into writing?


  87. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. We've heard evidence within this Commission hearing about requests that had been made to the OPP just by speaking with them on the phone, and the OPP has responded with PLT service or other frontline officers. Is that the ordinary course of conduct for the OPP?


  88. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.


  89. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. This is Tom McRae for Windsor Police Service. I have no questions.


  90. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Sorry, my video's not starting. Tom McRae for the Windsor Police Service. We have no questions. Thank you.


  91. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Good evening, all. This is Tom McRae for the Windsor Police Service. We have no questions, but would like to give our time to Canada, please.


  92. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner.


  93. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    My name is Tom McRae. I act for the Windsor Police Service. Mr. Sabia, my notes of your evidence say that your evidence was that the Ministry -- this was a serious issue and the Ministry of Finance was working towards a peaceful end to difficult circumstances. Is that a fair summary of your earlier evidence?


  94. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. I also have notes that you said that a peaceful end is better than a non-peaceful end. And in that context, you acknowledge the right to protest. Is that fair?


  95. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Did anyone at anytime in the Ministry of Finance to your knowledge model the cost of a non-peaceful end to this process?


  96. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. Thank you, those are my questions.


  97. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. My name is Tom McRae and I appear for the Windsor Police Service. Mr. Clerk, could you please turn up the witness' witness statement, 00000071, WTS? Sorry, if you could go down to the top of page 8, please. Now, Ms. Thomas, is it correct -- and I'm just, while the clerk does that -- that you have been in the federal public service for the last 20 years, at least?


  98. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. At the top of this paragraph, it says, "NSIA Thomas reflected," and then it goes on, "it could have been better, the sharing of information to -- for instance." Then: "ASC MacDonald added that the implicated law enforcement agencies, OPS, SQ, OPP, WPS, and RCMP maintained distinct intelligence silos." Is that a view that you hold, Ms. Thomas?


  99. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Your earlier evidence today, as I noted it, was that you were aware of Operation Hendon; isn't that correct?


  100. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  101. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Are you aware that in fact, the Hendon Reports to Project Hendon was a sharing of information, at least amongst OPS, WPS, and the OPP?


  102. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. So they are not truly distinct intelligence silos; isn't that correct?


  103. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. Thank you. Mr. Commissioner, that’s all of my questions. I would like to throw the balance of my time, if possible, to the City of Windsor please.


  104. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Yes. Tom McRae for Windsor Police Service. We will have no questions and we ask that all our time go to Ms. King for the City of Windsor. Thank you.


  105. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. My name is Tom McRae. I am counsel to the Windsor Police Service. Yesterday we heard evidence from Mr. Sabia, the Deputy Minister of Finance, to the effect that a peaceful resolution to the Ambassador Bridge blockade was better than a non-peaceful resolution to that blockade. Do you agree with that proposition?


  106. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. Madam Drouin?


  107. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. Do you both agree that a peace -- a resolution that respects Charter protected rights such as the right to protest would be preferable to one that does not?


  108. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. Can I ask Mr. Clerk to turn up the witness statement? It's 6074. And while the clerk's doing that, can I ask you, do you know when the Windsor Ambassador Bridge blockade started?


  109. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Take your time, take your time.


  110. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I think it was the 7th. I think it was the 7th, actually, when a truck just stopped in the middle of the road there.


  111. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    If I can take you please to the top of page 7 of witness statement 74? Sorry, I guess I got it wrong. Oh, I'm sorry, it's the top of page 8. My apologies. And this has the time frame of this, and maybe you can scroll a bit just to give the witnesses the proper context. I apologize for that. There’s a heading at the top. It’s about the invocation of the Emergencies Act. If you could go back to the top of page 8? Now if -- and this is really a question for Madam Drouin, because as I read this statement, Ms. Drouin recalled that: “PCO considered options as varied as shutting down cell towers, shutting down gas stations, and even deploying federal employees with commercial licenses to remove trucks entrenched in Ottawa.” (As read) This is the part I want to focus on. “She recalled losing hope that local police forces in Ottawa and Windsor were capable of executing their operational plans as time went on and no concrete police actions materialized.” (As read) Madam Drouin, when is it that you lost that hope?


  112. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    I’m sorry, just so I’m clear, you understood during the week of February 7th that Windsor had a plan and it had not executed on it?


  113. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  114. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  115. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  116. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  117. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    We’ve heard evidence that the OPP came promptly upon a request for help, the RCMP from London came promptly on a request from help, police forces from Waterloo and Hamilton also came promptly on a request for help. Were you aware of that at the time around February 9th?


  118. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  119. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    If I can turn back to the witness statement? Madam Drouin, you clarify at the bottom of that paragraph: “She clarified that neither she nor the Clerk [that’s you, Ms. Charette,] have reviewed police plans because law enforcement agencies operate independently of government.” (As read) Wouldn’t you agree that that is appropriate that law enforcement agencies operate independently of government?


  120. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. If I can take you, please, quickly, to a document that I think the Commission Counsel took you to? It’s Canada, I think, 00003256. It is an email, I think, that you received, email that’s dated the 14th, I think you received -- someone received it on the 13th, the evening before the invocation of the Emergencies Act. It’s from Brenda Lucki. In this email, as I understand it when it was taken to you, and I think it was you, Ms. Charette, it mentioned, if you scroll down a bit, where she talks about -- this is from Brenda Lucki. She talks about arrests. Could you please keep going? This said: “… I am of the view that we have […] exhausted all available tools…” And I believe that context, Ms. Charette, you suggested that there hadn’t been enough arrests yet? Or any arrests? Was my recollection of your evidence correct?


  121. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  122. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)



  123. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    All right. And in fact, is it your recollection that Windsor was cleared up on February 13th and the bridge was reopened just after midnight on the 14th?


  124. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. We heard from -- and this is my second last question. We heard from the Deputy Minister, Mr. Sabia yesterday, and in questions from my friend, Mr. Aylward for Canada, who asked just how quickly had they to act, what timescale did Mr. Sabia have in mind, was it an issue of days or weeks, or what was the time frame. Mr. Sabia’s evidence, and this is in the transcript, but I don’t know how to call it up, but it’s the one that’s publicly available, was that our -- they varied the length by where they were in the country, but: “These disruptions had already gone on for a reasonable period of time, reasonably lengthy period of time, so our objective here was we were thinking about this in a, you know, period of several days or a week, or a bit more than a week.” (As read) So do you agree with Mr. Sabia, at least as I read his evidence, that a week to resolve a protest is a reasonable period of time?


  125. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Oh, I -- let’s focus on the Ambassador Bridge blockade. Do you think a week ---


  126. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    --- to resolve the Ambassador Bridge blockade was a reasonable period of time?


  127. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    If you’re keeping in mind ---


  128. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Oh, please continue.


  129. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    If -- and Ms. Charette, I guess this is focused at you. I’ll rephrase the question: If you’re looking for a peaceful resolution that respects people’s charter rights, do you think or do you agree with how I read Mr. Sabia’s evidence, that one week is too brief a scope of period for that to happen in?


  130. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you. I’m just tying up something you said earlier, and then I’ll be done. There is evidence before this Commission that, for example, if there’s a car crash on the Ambassador Bridge, it is the Windsor Police who respond. Did you know that?


  131. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Okay. Those are my questions. Thank you very much for your time and have a good evening.


  132. Thomas McRae, Counsel (Win-WPS)

    Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. This is Tom McRae for the Windsor Police Service. The Windsor Police Service is the police service of jurisdiction in the City of Windsor. It is their local police, as well as the area in the vicinity of the Ambassador Bridge. So unsurprisingly, throughout this Commission, our focus in the evidence has been largely local and on policing. It’s our view that Canadians can be proud of their professional police services. One of the very important elements, though, of being a professional police service is that these police services have operational independence. Every witness that this Commission heard from affirmed the principle of independent operation by the police even though one or two of them had to be reminded of it from time to time. And with respect to the clearing of the Ambassador Bridge blockade, and we acknowledge and we are grateful for the great assistance we received from the OPP and other municipal forces in this, the POU effort at the Ambassador Bridge worked. The Charter rights of protest, to the extent possible, were respected. The efforts were reasonable and proportional. There was no loss of life. As the Deputy Prime Minister said, there was no blood on children’s faces. There was no serious injury. And even the Prime Minister, as I think you characterized it, Mr. Commissioner, gave us a pat on the back for the efforts. There are larger issues, though, that arise from the example of Windsor which, in our respectful submission, this Commission should consider. And one of them, and this is most troubling, in my view, is what additional inputs should be considered by the people and a Public Order Unit in particular when enforcing the laws and getting protestors who are acting illegally to disperse. Do you behave differently, for example, if there are significant economic impacts? How are the police under the current regime to know if there are significant economic impacts? In this case, we heard from the Mayor of Windsor that, unbeknownst to most, there were -- they were trying to draw an electric car battery facility to the city. Should the police have moved quicker? Would the -- would it be desirable for the police to move quicker if it meant that there might be more injuries either to officers or to protestors, and how would the Windsor Police in that example get that information and be able to assess it, all the while maintaining their operational independence? And finally, as my friend from the City of Windsor said, it remains a question for Windsor and the Windsor Police Service is who pays for the extra resources that the City of Windsor and its police service had to expend to deal with this protest, this protest which occurred ostensibly over -- I was going to say vaccine mandates, but it went larger than that. They were largely seen to come from the federal government, though, as the Prime Minister correctly pointed out, many of them were provincial or even local. And is it fair to put the bill on Windsor? My friend for Windsor said a plan would help. We’re certainly in favour of that. But it’s a plan that should be reached soon, in our respectful submission, to deal with these multiple issues. And I’d like, finally, to thank you, Mr. Commissioner, for your kindness and good humour and I’d like to thank other counsel throughout. It’s been an interesting ride. Thank you very much.