Feds ‘lost confidence’ in Ottawa police, Lucki told OPP in texts released at inquiry

Feds 'lost confidence' in Ottawa police, Lucki told OPP in texts released at inquiry
Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique appears at the Public Order Emergency Commission, in Ottawa, on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki sent the Ontario Provincial Police a text message a week after anti-COVID-19 mandate protesters arrived in Ottawa to say the federal government was losing, or had already lost, confidence in the local police force.

Commissioner Thomas Carrique is testifying today at a public inquiry into the Liberal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history, arguing its temporary and extraordinary powers were needed to end the blockades.

The text messages exchanged between Carrique and Lucki on Feb. 5,  in which the RCMP commissioner also said she was having a hard time trying to calm down federal cabinet ministers seeing “bouncing castles in downtown Ottawa,” were submitted to the public inquiry.

During his testimony, Carrique also says the OPP is responsible for policing nearly 330 communities across the province and became aware the “Freedom Convoy” was on its way to Ottawa about two weeks before it arrived.

He says he believed Ottawa police would stop large trucks from going downtown and parking around Parliament Hill, and that had he known otherwise he would have asked more questions and could have offered extra resources.

He also says the force’s intelligence showed protesters were expressing a “commitment for long-term activity” and were making “demands that could not be realized in the short term or at all.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2022

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