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PMO staff say Bergen privately acknowledged concerns over engaging with protesters

Candice Bergen rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Evidence submitted at a public inquiry suggests the Conservative Party's former interim leader, Candice Bergen, privately expressed concerns about engaging protesters from the "Freedom Convoy" last winter, despite publicly urging the prime minister to do just that.Candice Bergen rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Evidence submitted at a public inquiry suggests the Conservative Party's former interim leader, Candice Bergen, privately expressed concerns about engaging protesters from the "Freedom Convoy" last winter, despite publicly urging the prime minister to do just that.

OTTAWA – Workers within the Prime Minister’s Workplace are suggesting the previous Conservative interim chief, Candice Bergen, privately acknowledged issues about partaking with “Freedom Convoy” protesters final winter whereas publicly urging the prime minister to take heed to them — one thing Bergen denies.

A abstract of interviews with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior aides was launched Thursday by the general public inquiry wanting into the federal authorities’s determination to invoke the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14.

You are reading: PMO staff say Bergen privately acknowledged concerns over engaging with protesters

The doc mentioned Trudeau’s chief of workers, Katie Telford, requested whether or not Bergen might assist and the 2 leaders mentioned reaching out to protesters in a Feb. 3 cellphone name.

“Ms. Telford added that throughout the name, Ms. Bergen acknowledged that there have been vital issues about whom the federal authorities might have interaction with and setting a nasty precedent,” the abstract mentioned.

The dialog occurred on Bergen’s first day on the job, when she publicly challenged Trudeau’s authorities within the Home of Commons for not providing an “olive department” to the protesters.

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Throughout Query Interval she charged that the prime minister wanted to provide you with a plan to make protesters “really feel they’ve been listened to.” As an alternative, she advised MPs, Trudeau was “threatening Canadians with extra vaccine mandates.”

For her half, Bergen mentioned Thursday that she had a distinct recollection of that Feb. 3 name with Trudeau. She mentioned the prime minister referred to as to congratulate her on changing into chief, and that they mentioned numerous issues.

“I requested him if he would contemplate reaching out and lengthening an olive department to the individuals who had come to Ottawa,” Bergen wrote in an e mail. “He mentioned he didn’t need to set a precedent by talking to protesters in that method.”

Through the protests, because the celebration was discussing how to reply to the protest, Bergen advised some senior Conservatives in an e mail: “I don’t suppose we must be asking them to go house.”She added: “I perceive the temper might shift quickly. So we have to flip this into the (prime minister’s) drawback. What’s going to he take (as) step one to working in direction of ending this?”A screenshot of the e-mail, which carries the topic line “Assertion for Suggestions,” was obtained by The Canadian Press throughout the protests and first reported by the Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press has not seen the remainder of the e-mail chain.

Telford advised the fee Thursday federal officers thought-about potential engagement with the protesters greater than as soon as as a potential choice to bringing an finish to the blockade, however in the end that choice had little help throughout authorities.

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“There have been too many unanswered questions,” she mentioned.

“There was no readability when it comes to who the dialogue could be with on both aspect of the dialogue, and what the dialogue could be about and what it would end in.”

Trudeau’s senior workers appeared on the second-last day of public hearings held by the fee, which is probing the federal authorities’s determination to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to protests that gridlocked downtown Ottawa and blockaded the Canada-U.S. border.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Nov. 24, 2022.

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