Texts show feds planning communications strategy before ‘Freedom Convoy’ arrival
Posted Oct 31, 2022 09:00:00 PM.
Newly released text messages show how the federal government was planning its communications strategy before the arrival of 'Freedom Convoy' protesters in Ottawa back in late January.
Messages between a senior member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s staff and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s press secretary on Jan. 24 have been released by the inquiry investigating the government's use of the Emergencies Act.
In the exchange, the prime minister’s adviser Mary-Liz Power said Mendicino’s office was considering having the minister do media interviews about “some of the more extreme elements” of the protest, and suggested it could be an opportunity to “get in on” the growing narrative about the truckers.
Power said they would use a similar message to the one used in response to the Jan. 6 attacks in Washington, D.C.
She suggested Mendicino could talk about how some convoy organizers' language was concerning and needed to be taken seriously, but warned he would need to be careful to ensure it didn’t look like government was directing police.
Mendicino’s press secretary at the time, Alex Cohen, responded to say Mendicino wanted to wait a day or two because there was a danger that if they come down too hard, it “might push out the crazies.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2022.