thumb-2022-11-03
thumb-2022-11-03 This article is more than 1 year old
News

‘Sympathetic Police’ Leaked Information to Convoy Leaders, Convoy Lawyer Testifies

Ottawa Police decline comment on testimony indicating convoy leaders had advance knowledge of police raids

PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization that uncovers and unpacks the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.
Here is why you can trust our journalism ➔
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization that uncovers and unpacks the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.
Here is why you can trust our journalism.

Top convoy organizers were receiving leaked information that tipped them off to the plans of Ottawa Police throughout the convoy occupation, according to testimony from the convoy leaders’ lawyer.

Keith Wilson, a lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms who represented convoy leaders and sometimes acted as their spokesperson, testified Wednesday he was aware of police leaking operational plans to convoy organizers.

“You were getting information from sympathetic police?” Paul Champ, a lawyer representing Ottawa residents, asked Wilson.

“That is correct,” Wilson replied.

“Throughout?” Champ asked.

“Yes,” Wilson again replied.

In a scrum following his testimony under oath, Wilson told reporters convoy organizers were receiving a “steady stream of information.”

Wilson said the sources of leaks were “obviously” in the “room or got a memo” about operational planning, and suggested information came from both “police officers and security officials,” according to Global News.

In a witness statement, Wilson stated he was “unaware of the sources” of the leaks but suggested support from “former law enforcement officers, ex-military, and ex-CSIS personnel” gave organizers access to their contacts.

“The Freedom Convoy was receiving leaked information from law enforcement,” Wilson’s witness statement admits.

“Eventually, the police caught on and appeared to launch ‘fake operations to throw off the Freedom Convoy participants and test where the leaks were coming from.”

Sign Up for Our Labour Newsletter
Newspapers always have a business section – so why not a labour section too?
Sign Up for Our Labour Newsletter
Newspapers always have a business section – so why not a labour section too?

During his testimony, Wilson clarified Ottawa Police may not have been trying to fake them out, but were instead just badly organized.

“You’ve testified that you were hearing at times that there were police raids imminent at different times during the protest,” Champ told Wilson. “And we did hear some evidence from the police that there were raids planned at times that then were aborted.”

“So, it sounds like you might had some solid intelligence on that, is that fair to say?”

“Well actually, we thought we did,” Wilson chuckled. “But after having observed the proceedings sine the last few weeks, we had no idea of the level of dysfunction, of in-fighting that was going on” inside Ottawa Police.

“We assumed that when information filtered in to the operations centre that a raid was going to occur at nine o’clock at night at this location that it was real and then when it didn’t happen, the assumption was that it was a test.”

Asked if its Professional Standards Section has taken any steps to investigate information leaks, Ottawa Police declined comment.

“The Ottawa Police is not commenting on convoy-related matters at this time, so as to respect the public inquiry underway,” an Ottawa Police spokesperson told PressProgress.

Eli El-Chantiry, outgoing chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board which provides  civilian governance and oversight to the OPS, similarly declined comment.

“In order to respect the ongoing proceedings by the Emergency Commission, and so as to not prejudice those proceedings in any way, I am unable to provide comment,” El-Chantiry told PressProgress.

 


 

Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from Ottawa Police Services Board Chair Eli El-Chantiry which were received after it was first published.

 

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
Luke LeBrun
Editor
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture.

Most Shared

thumb-2024-07-06-vancouver-hyatt-strike News

Take Back Alberta Leaders are Training ‘Scrutineers’ to Infiltrate Campaigns and Act as ‘Security’ on Voting Day

Related Stories

News

Vancouver Hotel Workers Are Pushing Back Against Low Wages and High Costs of Living By Going on Strike

View the post
News

BC Teacher Files Human Rights Complaint Against Parent Over Transphobic Harassment Online

View the post
NEWS

Alberta School Boards are Cutting Hundreds of Teaching Positions Next Year, Teachers’ Association Says

View the post
Our free email newsletter delivers award-winning journalism directly to your inbox.
Get Canadian Investigative News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
Our free email newsletter delivers award-winning journalism to your inbox.
Get Canadian Investigative News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.