The Canadian spy agency was concerned that extremists could use violence to recruit members when the Freedom Column entered Ottawa earlier this year, its director told lawmakers Tuesday evening.
However, David Vino, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), said he could not provide specific examples, citing classified intelligence.
“We have seen a number of people who were concerned about CSIS up to the column, who were involved online և also in the context of the column themselves,” Vinyo told a special Joint Commission of Inquiry into the emergency call. Act in February in response to the protests that have been raging in central Ottawa for weeks.
“The concern we had with the ranks at the beginning, throughout, was that we saw in Canada, in other jurisdictions, violent extremists who were using these protests to stage violence, to recruit members, to be able to recruit members. spread their ideology more,
CSIS was also concerned about the risk of lone actors who would “engage in spontaneous violence,” Vino said.
“This is what we focused our activities on during the procession – providing information to law enforcement.
Previously unused law has given temporary powers to deal with blockades and protests against epidemic restrictions. It defines a qualifying emergency as something “out of the threat to Canada’s security.”
Vignon said the agency is exploring and investigating Canadian security threats on a daily basis, including “the rise of anti-authoritarianism and violent rhetoric, especially when it comes to public health measures.”
He said CSIS was aware of the “opportunities that large gatherings and protests offer” for ideologically motivated violent extremism (IMVE) recruitment, a broad term used by the agency to cover a variety of grievances, including extremism. from the right, from anti-government. և anti-government և racist groups.
One of the agency’s concerns was a memorandum of understanding issued by one of the group’s organizers, Canada Unity, calling on the Governor-General of Canada to form a new Senate government with the protesters.
“Our assessment of the manifesto was clearly worrying,” Vino said.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Luke told the commission that Muntis had provided additional protection to Governor General Mary Simon because of the MOU.
Non-police failure. RCMP Commissioner
The law on emergencies allowed people to go to protest zones, ban people from bringing minors to illegal gatherings, and allowed banks to freeze the accounts of some protesters. It enabled the RCMP to enforce community by-laws and regional offenses where necessary.
The then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argued that its use was necessary to address “serious challenges to the ability of law enforcement to enforce the law effectively.”
But that reasoning has been called into question by other opposition critics, who have questioned whether other measures, including police tactics, could be used.
Lucky said he had been involved in talks about launching the operation a week before it was implemented on February 14, but had never asked for it.
Repeatedly pressuring why police were unable to act sooner, Lucky said the move gave his Ottawa police various powers to use, such as forcing tow trucks.
“It was a different kind of protest where people were not leaving,” he said.
The senator questions the police decisions
He said he did not think the event was a failure of police action, despite several senators և Deputies on a commission proposing the opposite.
“In my opinion, the police actions before the act was published showed a number of police failures, not intentional failures, but the inability of the police to contain, to act properly, to reduce the occupation here in Ottawa,” said Senator Peter. More difficult:
“I am surprised that you will say that there was no police failure in these cases.”
Tuesday’s commission is separate from the investigation, led by former Ontario Supreme Court Judge Paul Rollo, which will investigate the events that led to the implementation of the Emergency Act and make recommendations.
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