Darrin Calcutt

As parliament continues to investigate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act to quash Freedom Convoy protestors in February, internal focus group polling shows that many Canadians remain disappointed with how the government handled things. 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, a Privy Council Office survey titled Continuous Qualitative Data Collection of Canadians’ Views found that respondents were upset with how little the federal government engaged with protestors.

“Participants were generally dissatisfied with the response of the Government of Canada,” analysts wrote. 

“It was thought the perceived lack of engagement by the federal government with the protesters only served to intensify these demonstrations.”

The research was undertaken between Mar. 3 to Mar. 30, only days after the Trudeau government suspended the use of emergency powers which included freezing assets of protest supporters and arresting organizers. 

“Several of those who felt the Act should not have been invoked were also primarily opposed to the protests and felt the Act would not have been necessary in the first place if more had been done at all levels of government to quell the protests in their initial days,” the study claimed.

“Among those who were more supportive of the protests it was felt use of the Act represented significant overreach by the federal government.”

General attitudes towards the convoy and its goals were split with “roughly similar” numbers of people praising the movement as those speaking negatively of it. 

“Across all groups a roughly similar number of individuals spoke negatively about the protests as those who expressed support with several others more uncertain,” wrote analysts. 

Some Canadians even said that the “primarily grassroots” convoy “encouraged and uplifted” them in its opposition of Covid-19 mandates. 

“Among those in favour of the protests, it was generally thought the gatherings had been mostly peaceful and that protesters had been unfairly treated by law enforcement and public officials,” the survey found. 

“In addition, several participants believed coverage of these protests in media had been almost entirely one-sided and portrayed the demonstrations in a disproportionately negative light.”

Hearings for the commission investigating Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act have been postponed to October 13 due to the commissioner’s health.