Liberal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino has alleged that Ottawa convoy protesters threatened Ottawa residents with rape, despite a lack of charges and evidence.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Mendicino made the claim during his testimony to the Commons public safety committee on the Trudeau government’s use of the Emergencies Act.
“There were Ottawans who were subjected to intimidation, harassment, threats of rape,” said Mendicino during his defense of the government’s implementation of the never-before-used emergency legislation.
No member of the Freedom Convoy protest is facing charges for sexual assault. When pressed to provide evidence for his claims, Mendicino failed to produce any.
“My question to you is very pointed: If that allegation did not result in a criminal charge, will you undertake to provide this committee with proof of the allegation?” asked Conservative MP Larry Brock.
“The absence of criminal charges doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen,” Mendicino replied.
Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revoked the Emergencies Act last week, a federal inquiry into its use is expected to begin within 60 days.
“The enactment of the Emergencies Act was an effective tool to not only deal directly with the leaders of the blockade here in Ottawa but also as a deterrent effect,” Assistant RCMP Commissioner Dennis Daley told parliamentarians.
According to Daley, the Act allowed the federal police force to scare those “primarily outside of Ottawa” from further protesting COVID-19 measures.
“I think the government used the crisis for political reasons,” said Bloc Quebecois MP Kristina Michaud. “It’s not enough to say it was useful. You must prove it was necessary and indispensable. I don’t want to minimize what has been said about the occupation, but someone in a hot tub in the middle of Wellington Street doesn’t seem to be a national security threat.”
Mendicino’s allegations about the freedom convoy protesters as rapists come a month after Trudeau first referred to the truckers heading towards Ottawa as “extremists” with “unacceptable views.”
Three days after the convoy had arrived in the nation’s capital, Trudeau emerged from the secure location to which he had fled to declare that demonstrators had disgusted the country.
“Over the past few days, Canadians were shocked and frankly disgusted by the behaviour displayed by some people protesting in our nation’s capital,” he said on Jan. 31. “I want to be very clear – we are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags; we won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonour the memory of our Veterans.”
Ottawa police violently cracked down on the Ottawa protests on Feb. 18-20, followed by Trudeau’s revocation of the Emergencies Act three days later.