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US officials pressured Canada to stop ‘Freedom Convoy’, new testimony reveals

Senior Biden administration officials have pressed their Canadian counterparts to clear truckers blocking parts of the U.S. northern border during protests in January.

A public inquiry into the Canadian government’s decision to use emergency powers to extricate ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters revealed on Thursday that frantic phone calls had been made from Washington to Ottawa in an attempt to open lines of muffled supplies.

“They are very, very, very concerned,” Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote in an email to her staff after a Feb. 10 phone call from White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese. , according to Politico.

“If this is not resolved within the next 12 hours, all of their Northeast auto plants will close,” Freeland continued in his email.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg phoned his Canadian counterpart, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, the same day Deese called Freeland, the report said, and Buttigieg pressed Alghabra about Canada’s protests ‘resolution plan’ .

Alghabra told the commission Buttigieg made the call and the interaction was “unusual.”

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote in an email that the White House was very, “very, very concerned” about the protests.
REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo

Brian Clow, deputy chief of staff to the Prime Minister of Canada, also heard from White House aides, including National Security Council Director Juan Gonzalez, who wanted to connect Canadian national security officials with the U.S. Department. of Homeland Security.

A phone call between President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took place the next day, February 11, during which Trudeau let the commander-in-chief know that Ottawa had a plan to end the lockdowns.

In his call with Trudeau, Biden reportedly alluded to convoys of truckers threatening to disrupt the Super Bowl in Los Angeles and the streets of Washington.

Freeland told staff in an email that the Deese wanted daily updates on protests that never materialized because the Emergency Act was invoked three days after Trudeau’s call with Biden.

US officials pressured Canada to stop ‘Freedom Convoy’, new testimony reveals
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Biden spoke on the phone about the February 11 protests.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Freeland told Canadian investigators she feared Canada was “causing long-term and possibly irreparable harm to our trade relationship with the United States” and feared DC politicians “who would like to n any excuse to impose more protectionist measures on us”.

Border blockades in Manitoba and between Detroit and Windsor were lifted before the Emergencies Act was invoked, the commission found.

The never-before-used Canadian law gave the government the power to freeze protesters’ bank accounts, ban travel to protest sites and force trucks to tow vehicles blocking streets.

The commission seeks to determine whether the government was justified in invoking the emergency powers.

‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters were demonstrating against Canadian COVID vaccine mandates and restrictions.


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