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The army did not have the ability to clear Alta's Kutz. Blockage of "No Significant Risk": Government Documents

According to the letter, the RCMP "runs out all regional and regional options to mitigate the week-long interruption of service at this important border.

A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators continue to block the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022.
Photo courtesy of: CANADIAN PRESS / Jeff McIntosh

The Canadian Army did not have the "assets" to help safely clear the blockade with Alta's Coutts. Earlier this year, the Alberta Government had the authority to address the issue itself under state law, but the Ministry of Public Security of Canada told the Minister of Emergency Preparedness.

The briefing note was created by Bill Blair's department in February and was obtained by the National Post through access to information. It responded to a letter from the Alberta state government calling for federal help to clear the blockade at Katz's border crossing, which began in support of the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa.

Alberta Minister of State Rick Mackayber sent a letter to Blair and Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino on February 5 to move 70 semi-tractor trailers and 75 personal and motorhomes. I asked for the equipment and personnel to do it. The letter said the RCMP "has exhausted all local and regional options to mitigate the week-long interruption of service at this important border."

A public security briefing note dated February 9 states that Alberta was unable to seek help from a private sector tow truck operator in either the Western or US states. He admitted, but said the federal government was also incapable of supporting it.

  1. Protesters react as Toronto Police mounted unit charge to disperse as police take action to put an end to a protest, which started in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandates and grew into a broader anti-government demonstration and occupation, in Ottawa, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. The commissioner of the inquiry examining Ottawa's use of the Emergencies Act to bring an end to the so-called

    Liberal Party Government Publish Cabinet Documents for Emergency Law Investigation

  2. A woman greets a truck driver while vehicles line streets in Ottawa during the Freedom Convoy protest.

    The entire track-in story behind the Freedom Convoy: Complete comment by Anthony Furey

"This could be the result of private industry concerns about experiencing negative consequences when helping to clear obstacles," said the briefing note.

All "major partners" said that "the Canadian government's ability to support this request was discussed."
"Given the lack of commercial resources, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has been identified as the only federal asset that could meet the demand."

However, the briefing note states, "Discussion with the CAF has revealed that the CAF does not have the necessary assets or expertise to do this without significant risk. ".

According to Blair's briefing note, Alberta was able to handle the issue under the state law of Alberta's Critical Infrastructure Defense Act. “Highways are considered an essential infrastructure, so Alberta has the legal authority needed to enforce compliance,” he said. The

memo says, "This remains a problem within the jurisdiction of the state."

The briefing note, signed by Deputy Minister Rob Stewart on February 9, does not mention the government's enforcement of the Emergency Act on February 14, a few days later. That law – Prime Minister Jason Kenny said in February that the state would challenge it in court, and in May Alberta granted intervener status in other court oppositions to the use of federal law. Was done.

Blair's response to Alberta indicates an emergency law, even though it was February 25, two days after the end of use of the emergency law. increase. "These measures provide temporary authority to regulate, ban and mitigate blockades in designated areas such as borders and other critical infrastructure," Alberta told the State's Critical Infrastructure Defense Act. He added that he must have the authority to deal with the blockade based on it.

CMP Commissioner Branda Lucki told Parliamentary Commission in May that the RCMP "looked at the military and ultimately confirmed that the Alberta government had purchased a tow truck. The enforcement of the Situation Act has begun. "

She also said that the RCMP had" made many inquiries regarding the use of the Canadian Army, "but the army had the necessary equipment. I was told not.

In a letter to Alberta, Blair said he understood that the government "already procured equipment to assist in the removal of the vehicles involved in the blockade." The Government of Canada will support refunds to Alberta for such purchases.
Blair also "promised to work with you to help find operators and drivers."

After the protests were over, a joint member of the House of Commons and the Senate. A meeting was convened to investigate the government's enforcement of the Emergency Act. Much of the Commission's attention to recent work has focused on the Minister of Public Security's statement that the government has enacted an emergency law on the advice of police, but Lucky and Steve, the interim Ottawa police chief. Bell is later called, stating that he has never requested the law.

At a hearing, Deputy Minister of Public Security Stewart told the Commission that Alberta's request for assistance was rejected. Will damage the truck.

He said that military equipment was "inappropriate and inappropriate," considering that "what was needed at the Katz border was hundreds of tow trucks and dozens of tow trucks." It will be "enough", he added.

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