The Peace Tower is seen behind police at a gate along Queen Street as they restrict access to the streets around Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The inquiry into the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act during February's "Freedom Convoy" protest in Ottawa continues today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Politicians’ supporting “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa risked emboldening organizers: OPP

The Ontario Provincial Police warned the support from Canadian political figures for the “Freedom Convoy” was likely to embolden protesters in the streets of downtown Ottawa.

The assessment was in a report compiled Feb. 6, more than a week after demonstrators first arrived in the National Capital Region, many driving large, honking semi-trucks.

In its report, Ontario’s police force flagged how the “apparent support from Canadian political figures” was “certain to further embolden those organizing and participating in the blockade.”

Police warned this support was likely to give protesters credibility and validate their tactics, and possibly lead to more blockades elsewhere in Canada.

The intelligence, which was presented as evidence to the public inquiry examining the federal Liberal government’s use of the Emergencies Act, did not mention any political figures by name.

But those who expressed support for the Ottawa protests included Randy Hillier, who was at the time an Independent member of the Ontario legislature, People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier and many Conservative members of Parliament, including its now-leader, Pierre Poilievre.

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