'Freedom Convoy' did not pose threat to the security of Canada: CSIS director

OTTAWA — New documents released by the public inquiry investigating the government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act show the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service felt the "Freedom Convoy" did not pose a threat to the security of Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, arguing its temporary and extraordinary powers were needed to end blockades in Ottawa and at border crossings.

The Public Order Emergency Commission, which is holding hearings in Ottawa until Nov. 25, is tasked with determining whether the government was justified in triggering the legislation.

A document summarizing the CSIS director's evidence shows he felt that the protest "at no time" posed a threat to Canada's security, and that were no signs of foreign interference.

He advised cabinet that invoking the Emergencies Act could further inflame extreme anti-government rhetoric.

Rob Stewart, who was deputy minister of public safety at the time, says CSIS uses different criteria to define threats to national security than the public safety department, and says cabinet ministers decided the threshold to invoke the Emergencies Act had been met.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press