OPP intelligence chief: No foreigners or extremists in Freedom Convoy


OPP Intelligence Head Concerned With False Allegations of Extremism by Politicians, Media Against Convoy Protesters

By Omid Ghoreishi October 20, 2022 Updated: October 20, 2022 biggersmaller Print The head of Ontario Provincial Police’s intelligence unit says he was concerned with false allegations of extremism against convoy protesters by politicians and the media. “I was concerned by comments made publicly by public figures and in the media that I believed were not premised in fact,” Supt. Pat Morris, head of OPP’s Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau, told the public inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act on Oct. 19. Morris said his viewpoint wasn’t merely coming from a subjective perspective, because he was leading the charge on collecting intelligence on the convoy protest. “I believed I was in a unique situation to understand what was transpiring,” he said. “So when I read accounts that the state of Russia had something to do with it, or that this was a result of American influence, either financially or ideologically, or that Donald Trump was behind it, or that it was un-Canadian, or that the people participating were un-Canadian and that they were not Canadian views and they were extremists, I found it to be problematic.” Just ahead of the trucker protest arriving in Ottawa on Jan. 29, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau berated the protesters for their opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. “The small, fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other,” Trudeau said on Jan. 27. The prime minister and his senior cabinet members made similar comments throughout the protest, while refusing to meet or send representatives to talk with the protesters. “There are public reports showing that there are indications that there [are] extremist ideological positions and there is a link between the blockades,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said on Feb. 17. Other politicians made similar comments. “They came here to overthrow a democratically elected government. It is a movement funded by foreign influence and it feeds on disinformation. Its goal is to disrupt our democracy,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in the House of Commons on Feb. 17. A transcript of a Feb. 8 call between Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Trudeau tabled at the commission shows the mayor also saying the protesters didn’t represent Canada. “Nasty people out there that just don’t represent Canada,” he said. ‘At a Turning Point’ Morris made his comments at the commission in response to a question about an email he had sent to OPP Deputy Commissioner Charles Cox on Feb. 22, where he said the protest movement “feels marginalized in its locality but enhanced by its broad appeal nationally,” adding that it is not an extremist movement. “It is not comprised of ideologically Motivated Violent Extremists (IMVEs). The actual leaders are not extremists with histories of violent criminal acts—although events due (sic) attract unpredictable and extreme elements. The absolute lack of criminal activity across Canada, and the minimal violent crime throughout the event illustrate this,” Morris wrote. Families join the Freedom Convoy protest in downtown Ottawa after police distributed arrest notices to truckers and their supporters occupying Wellington St. and the Parliament Hill area on Feb. 16, 2022. (Richard Moore/The Epoch Times)He added that politicians and the media are giving a different picture than what he has actually seen, and noted that their claims have shaped the main discourse on the subject in society. “But now the public discourse is dominated by political figures and the media—and the commentary is providing a very different picture than what law enforcement collectively gathered