OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Former Ottawa Police Service (OPS) chief Peter Sloly testified that Freedom Convoy protesters were permitted by the cops to park their vehicles outside Canada’s Parliament in the early days of the protest.
Sloly made the statement late last week at the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Sloly noted that there were “efforts” made to “hold negotiations that were in place to allow for emergency lanes of traffic and to provide for a period of demonstration that would then end.”
Senator Gwen Boniface asked Sloly at which point he felt that the protests went from “a lawful demonstration to an illegal occupation?”
Sloly replied that it was when he saw that “any law was broken” that he considered the protesters to be “unlawful.”
He then noted that there are “many unlawful demonstrations that the police will provide supports to in order to facilitate to the greatest degree the intent of what I believe is our Charter of Rights.”
“And we’ll manage through those unlawful elements even when there are elements that are violent,” Sloly continued.
Sloly added that after trucks had been permitted to park outside Parliament, he considered it unsafe to begin ticketing and towing away the protesters’ vehicles.
“The issue was not whether there was a bylaw offence,” Sloly noted, but the “safety risk associated with trying to remove large trucks in large numbers with large numbers of demonstrators and residents.”
Canada’s draconian COVID measures were the catalyst for the Freedom Convoy, which took to the streets of Ottawa to demand an end to all mandates for three weeks in February. As a result, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 14 enacted the Emergencies Act (EA) to shut down the Freedom Convoy.
Lawyer Keith Wilson, who represented some of the Freedom Convoy leaders, recently said his phone and text records prove that Freedom Convoy leaders had reached a deal with authorities to move trucks out of downtown Ottawa before Trudeau enacted the EA.
Sloly said in his testimony that it was only a few days after truckers had refused to move their vehicles that he said the protests were deemed a “national security crisis.”
Earlier in the year, Sloly had testified that he was aware as early as January 13 that the Freedom Convoy was planned.
OPS interim chief Steve Bell recently acknowledged his department did not request that Trudeau invoke EA to take down the Freedom Convoy.
Trudeau will soon testify before Canada’s Public Order Emergency Commission to explain why he and his government chose to use the EA to shut down the Freedom Convoy in February.
The Commission hearings are set to begin on October 13 and will be open to the public via a livestream.