The organizers of the protest that occupied downtown Ottawa for three weeks aimed to “overthrow Canada’s government,” Jody Thomas, national security adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said Thursday.
Thomas said in a speech today at the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defense, an international meeting that began Wednesday in the Canadian capital, that this was “without a doubt” the intention of the organizers of the occupation.
Trudeau’s national security adviser explained that the protest, whose central core consisted of half a thousand trucks that blocked access to Canada’s parliament for three weeks, “had supply chains, had organization, received funding from Canada and other countries.”
For this reason, Thomas added, the Trudeau government was forced to invoke the emergency law on Feb. 14, which gave Canadian authorities special powers to break the protest.
Thomas said the use of special powers, the first time they had been used in 50 years, was justified regardless of whether the protesters were actually able to topple the government.
In addition to occupying central Ottawa, other groups blocked key border crossings between Canada and the United States for weeks, causing serious economic losses to both countries.
Thomas, who was formerly the deputy defense minister, linked the organizers of the occupation, started by truck drivers to protest Canada’s anti-Covid-19 regulations, with right-wing extremist groups in North America.