Trudeau, Singh gave false statements about Convoy days after briefing

Dan Fournier

November 21, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh gave false statements about the Freedom Convoy’s GoFundMe just days after a federal briefing provided correct information, according to new revelations uncovered in the Public Order Emergency Commission.

Trudeau, Singh gave false statements about Freedom Convoy days after briefing
Trudeau, Singh gave false statements about Freedom Convoy days after briefing.

In a Feb. 9 parliamentary session, NPD leader Jagmeet Singh said, “we know that a significant portion of the funding for this Convoy is from foreign US dollars.” 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added, “we are working very hard with partners at different levels of government to make sure that the flow of funds through criminal activities is interdicted.”  

Yet, a briefing provided by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to senior officials at different levels of government on Feb. 6, three days earlier, confirmed there was no foreign involvement in the Freedom Convoy protest. The briefing note was uncovered during the federal Public Order Emergency Commission, according to The Epoch Times. 

Trudeau and Singh have yet to retract their comments.  

In a Special Joint Committee studying the invocation of the Emergencies Act on Nov. 17Conservative MP Larry Brock asked GoFundMe’s general counsel Kim Wilford whether she agreed there was “no evidence that any of the funds originating to your platform were proceeds of crime.”

“That is correct,” Wilford replied.

On Jan. 14, the Freedom Convoy’s GoFundMe account was launched. However, due to interventions by Canadian authorities, the campaign was paused on Feb. 2.  

Wilford said the reason for the suspension partly included conversations with Ottawa police chiefs Peter Sloly and Steve Bell, along with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, who said the protests were “no longer deemed peaceful.” Bell and Watson said protesters were harassing citizens while hotel rooms were being trashed. 

Bloc Québécois MP Rhéal Fortin pressed Wilford on whether there were any investigations into the events.

“I am not aware of any [such] police investigations,” she said.

Wilford also reiterated that 88 percent of the funds donated to the Freedom Convoy through GoFundMe originated in Canada. Specifically, of the around 133,000 donors, 14,000 came from the US. Another 4,000 donations, or 3%, came from 80 other countries. 

Brock also touched on misinformation circulating at the time about possible Russian involvement. He asked Wilford whether she agreed that only a “handful” of donations could have come from Russia, to which she agreed.

In a Jan. 28 CBC Power & Politics broadcast, the host interviewed Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and suggested that Russian actors may have instigated the protest.

Several complaints were filed about the broadcast and the CBC regarding its speculatory nature and lack of substantiating evidence.  

review by the broadcaster’s ombudsman found that the CBC had breached its journalistic standards and had not provided sufficient context, attribution and context in the report. 

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