Commission of inquiry: Canada should review its definition of national security

The federal government should revise its definition of national security to better deal with threats like that of the « freedom convoy, » said Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser.

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« I believe that these laws must be modernized to reflect the reality of the nature of the threats that arise in 2022, » argued Jody Thomas during the Rouleau commission on Thursday.

She was confronted with the fact that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) did not conclude that the border barricades or the truck convoy set up in Ottawa in February were threats to national security.

In favor of summoning

Mme Thomas said she was in favor of invoking the Emergency Measures Act because she perceived the protests to be a threat to democracy.

She also recounted a discussion she had with a colleague about her opinion that the authorities should be prepared for other events of the same nature.

“The only measure can only be the violence of nature on January 6 [l’assaut du Capitole à Washington en 2021]. There is a spectrum of activities that we need to understand. This is critical, because we have seen these kinds of uprisings in democracies around the world. »

Earlier Thursday, senior Finance Ministry officials had to defend themselves for preventing families from meeting their basic needs by freezing 280 bank accounts belonging to protesters.

» Come back home. I can’t pay for the groceries”: participants who had remained in the illegal demonstrations received this type of call while the bank account was frozen under the Emergency Measures Act.

Commission counsel Gordon Cameron mentioned these cases of families no longer being able to pay their rent or food as a collateral effect of this draconian measure taken by the Ministry of Finance to put an end to the occupation of Ottawa and the barricades at the borders last February.

« The intention was not to attack families, » defended Deputy Minister Isabelle Jacques. The objective was to be able to act quickly. We wanted to stop the flow of money and discourage people on the hill or at the border barricades from continuing to participate. »

Speed ​​was an argument stressed by senior officials, who stressed that Canada must maintain its reputation as a reliable trading partner in the eyes of Americans who were considering investing billions in the production of electric cars in the country at the time. .

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