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Tipsheet

Here's What US Officials Said to Canada About the Freedom Convoy

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

Not that this was a shocking development, but when hordes of freedom-loving Canadians flooded into Ottawa to protest the nation’s COVID vaccine mandate, the Biden administration pressured our neighbors to the North to get a handle on the situation. In other words, break it up and send these people home.  

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The protests lasted days, though it wasn’t a white supremacist event which was one of the many media smears lobbed at these people. Of course, independent journalists did the heavy lifting here, discovering that this freedom convoy and its supporters included those from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, and yes—some were even vaccinated.  


Yet, it impacted our trade routes with Canada, and with the US navigating through a supply chain crisis, it was a headache the Biden White House could not do without at the time. The communications between Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s government and the Biden administration were revealed in detail as Canada reviews whether Trudeau’s emergency powers were invoked legitimately (via Politico):

With blockades at Canada-U.S. borders choking supply chains, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and top government officials scrambled to ease heightened anxiety in Washington. 

The revelations were revealed in testimony and documents tabled Thursday at a public inquiry into the federal government’s decision to use emergency powers to end the ‘Freedom Convoy’ blockades and clear a weeks-long occupation of downtown Ottawa that started in January 2022. 

“I could see for the first time this amber light flashing,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told the Public Order Emergency Commission. 

The inquiry is required by law as a result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke the never-before-used Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 to end the protests. 

Powers under the act were used to freeze the bank accounts, ban travel to protest sites and compel trucks to tow vehicles blocking streets. The commission must determine whether the Liberal government was justified in using those measures. 

Freeland told the inquiry about a Feb. 10 phone call from Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council and Biden’s top economic adviser, who expressed urgent concern about the border blockades. 

“They are very, very, very worried,” Freeland wrote in an email to her staff. “If this is not sorted out in the next 12 hours, all of their northeastern car plants will shut down.” 

[…] 

In an email to staff, Freeland noted Deese had requested daily updates — a stark signal that a “hard to get hold of” White House adviser was following closely. 

Those check-ins never transpired. Four days after the Deese call and three days after Trudeau touched base with Biden, the government invoked the Emergencies Act. 

“In other words, Canada took prompt action, and daily updates were not necessary,” reads a commission summary of a September interview with Freeland. 

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Oddly, a commission is reviewing whether these fascistic tactics by the Trudeau government were justified. Some of these actions to place pressure on the freedom convoy included things like bank account seizures

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