Senior Biden administration officials urged their Canadian counterparts to clear truckers blocking parts of the United States’ northern border during protests in January.
A public inquiry into the Canadian government’s decision to use emergency powers to evacuate “Freedom Convoy” protesters found Thursday that Washington has been frantically making phone calls to Ottawa to open up clogged utility lines.
“They are very, very, very concerned,” Canadian Treasury Secretary Chrystia Freeland wrote in an email to her staff after Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, called on Feb. 10, according to Politico.
“If this isn’t resolved in the next 12 hours, all of their Northeast auto plants will shut down,” Freeland continued in her email.
According to the report, Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg called his Canadian counterpart, Transport Secretary Omar Alghabra, the same day Deese Freeland called, and Buttigieg pressured Alghabra about Canada’s “plan to resolve” the protests.
Alghabra told the commission that Buttigieg initiated the call and that the interaction was “unusual”.
Brian Clow, deputy chief of staff to the Canadian prime minister, also heard from White House officials, including National Security Council director Juan Gonzalez, who wanted to tie Canadian national security officials to the US Department of Homeland Security.
The following day, February 11, a phone call took place between President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during which Trudeau told the commander in chief that Ottawa had a plan to end the blockades.
In his conversation with Trudeau, Biden reportedly alluded to trucker convoys allegedly threatening to disrupt the Los Angeles Super Bowl and the streets of Washington.
Freeland told employees in an email that Deese wanted daily updates on the protests, which never materialized because the emergency law was invoked three days after Trudeau called Biden.
Freeland told Canadian investigators she fears Canada is “in the process of causing long-term and potentially irreparable damage to our trade relationship with the United States” and fears DC politicians “who would love any excuse to impose more protectionist measures on us.”
Border blockades in Manitoba and between Detroit and Windsor were cleared ahead of the emergency act being invoked, the commission found.
The never-before-applied Canadian law gave the government the power to freeze protesters’ bank accounts, ban travel to protest sites and force trucks to tow vehicles blocking roads.
The commission is trying to determine whether the government was entitled to invoke the emergency powers.
The “Freedom Convoy” protesters demonstrated against Canada’s COVID vaccine mandates and restrictions.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/24/us-officials-pressured-canada-to-stop-freedom-convoy-new-testimony-reveals/ US officials have been pressuring Canada to stop the ‘Freedom Convoy’, new testimonies show