The federal government is already preparing for a new convoy of truckers in 2023

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The federal government is already preparing for a new convoy of truckers in 2023

A new truckers demonstration could be organized in Ottawa, in 2023. (Archives)

National Security Advisor and Intelligence from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Jody Thomas, says senior officials are already planning for the possibility of another trucker protest in early 2023.

Ms. Thomas indicated Thursday evening before the special joint committee on the declaration of a crisis situation that deputy ministers met for the first time this week to discuss such a possibility.

She explained that Mike MacDonald, Assistant Cabinet Secretary, Security and Intelligence, has already chaired meetings to begin to see how we will respond to this.

Earlier this month, James Bauder, the founder of the Canada Unity group – a Calgary association that is one of the main organizers of the truckers' convoy in Ottawa – announced on his Facebook page that a new convoy would take place from February 11 to 28 next.

Ms. Thomas and Mr. MacDonald both appeared before this special committee, bringing together members of Parliament and senators, who are investigating the federal government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to last winter's protests.

The committee's study is taking place alongside the State of Emergency Commission, a public inquiry that is looking at the same issues.

We really learned from what happened and we try to ensure that we take into account the shortcomings noted, assured Ms. Thomas.

Among these findings, she explained, how to interpret information collected on social networks, while ensuring that privacy laws are always respected.

Mr. MacDonald added that he had already had the opportunity to test the lessons learned from the winter 2022 trucking convoy, notably during the motorcycle demonstration dubbed “Rolling Thunder” which took place in Ottawa in late April, as well as at other events scheduled for Canada Day.

Many of the lessons and ideas [learned] have been incorporated into governance and decision-making structures, he said. -he says.

He added that he was working more directly with the police. I have a deeper relationship with the Ottawa Police. I sit down with them directly to talk about the issues, which wasn't really done before.

Ms Thomas indicated that she believed that with good understanding of intelligence and information [gathered], the Emergencies Act would not need to be used in the future.

Asked about the possibility of a Convoy 2.0 popping up, the National Security and Intelligence Advisor added that various measures would be taken in advance to prevent a similar installation to that seen in January and February.

< p class="e-p">She noted that the demonstrations of support in Quebec and Montreal, where parking had been banned, took place in a different way and lasted less time.

I am not an expert in policing, and the police do their own analysis. The investigation will also look at the police aspects of all this, she said, referring to the work of the Commission, which is due to submit its final report in early February. But in towns where trucks weren't allowed to stop, there weren't the same problems.

Joined by Radio- Canada, Friday, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) declined to comment on police preparations in connection with Convoy 2.0.

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