Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke at the Emergencies Act inquiry, saying last year’s convoy protests were a threat to the Canada’s economic security.
Freeland says she saw the blockade at Ambassador’s Bridge as a real escalation of that threat.
“I had a very deep duty to the Canadians at that time to defend them and…I’m surprised to get emotional but…” Freeland, tears in his eyes, recalls the impact of a comment from a American investor, which was transmitted to him. by the head of a Canadian bank during the protests of last year’s convoy movement and the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge.
“We were being called a ‘joke’ by people. An investor said to me, “I’m not going to invest a penny more in your banana republic in Canada. » »
Documents from Thursday’s inquest show the comments were made during a call on Feb. 13, 2021, just a day before the Trudeau government declared an emergency under the Emergencies Act.
The call was between Freeland and all the CEOs of Canadian banks who warned her that our country’s reputation was in jeopardy.
“I kind of said…what I was trying to do was get the CEOs of the banks on board…don’t let these guys tell you ‘Canada is a banana republic’, we’re a great country,” said Freeland.
The inquiry heard that the White House’s top economic adviser had told Freeland days earlier that all auto plants in the northeastern United States would close within 12 hours if the blockade was not lifted, sparking concerns serious concerns for her that the Canadian auto sector would be shut out of the market. The US economy in the short and long term.
Freeland made a direct connection between this threat to the economy and Canada’s national security, defending and explaining the Liberals’ decision to invoke the law.
“I really believe that our security as a country is based on our economic security and if our economic security is threatened, all of our security is threatened,” Freeland said.
Further explaining the decision, Freeland said she was very concerned about the potential for violence, between protesters and counter-protesters if the blockade dragged on.
After Freeland ended, three of the Prime Minister’s top aides took the floor to begin their testimony, Katie Telford, Brian Clow and John Brodhead.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to speak on Friday.