Democracy Fund lawyer Alan Honner has suggested the real reason the Trudeau Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act was because the US pressured them to do so.
He made the remarks while questioning Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland at the Public Order Emergency Commission on Thursday.
“The US was unhappy with the situation in Canada, and they were seeing their own vulnerability in our supply chains — that was your evidence, was it not? And they didn’t like that.”
Honner was referring to a phone call US President Joe Biden’s economic advisor, Brian Deece, made to Freeland during the protests.
Freeland acknowledged that Deece spoke to her about the economic impact the protests had on the US , and the urgency of ending them.
Honner also said Biden and Trudeau spoke on the phone on February 11, three days before the federal government invoked the EA.
Honner pointed out that in December 2021, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) formally notified Liberal ministers that the vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers would remove 24,000 trucks from the international supply chain.
“You know this would have some effect on the supply chain — is that fair?” Honner asked.
“I knew that some people asserted that it might,” Freeland responded.
The CTA further stated that truckers move about 70% of the $648 billion Canada-US trade relationship.
Freeland said she disagrees with the CTA’s claim that the vaccine mandate posed a risk to the supply chain.
Honner ended his questioning by alluding that Canada invoked the EA to maintain strong US-Canada relations.
“And I put it to you, minister, that the government felt that they had to do something, not because of serious threats of serious violence but because your government was completely overwhelmed and you were under a tremendous amount of pressure from the United States,” he said.
Freeland said she “absolutely” disagreed with the assertion.