June 7, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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“Freedom Convoy”: Paid about $200,000 to communications agency

“Freedom Convoy”: Paid about $200,000 to communications agency

Ottawa | The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) paid the Communications Agency $185,992.85 for support during the occupation of the federal capital last January and February.

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According to a bill of materials presented as evidence before the Emergency Measures Board of Inquiry on Monday, Navigator agency staff have been meeting daily with PAHO management throughout the crisis.

Archival photo

Some demonstrators of the “Freedom Convoy” did not hesitate to carry serious messages as they occupied the federal capital city center in February and March.

The firm provided general communication services such as analysis of media coverage of the crisis, speaking notes, support for holding press conferences and drafting press releases.

But that’s not all.

The organization provided strategic advice and ensured liaison with civil society representatives, including elected members of the municipal council. She also approached politicians to get their support.

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Interim Deputy Chief of Police Patricia Ferguson feared the navigator field would negatively affect operations and put officers at risk, according to her own handwritten notes entered into evidence.

During his testimony a few days ago, at the heart of the crisis Mr. Slowey’s replacement, Steve Bell, also expressed concern about the impact of the navigator.

According to him, the former chief engaged in “inappropriate” discussions with Slowy Navigator experts and included them in discussions about “how police conduct operations”.

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For his part, the former head of OPS, Peter Slowey, denied during cross-examination at the commission on Monday that he did not discuss activities with the firm, which specializes in public relations, crisis management, lobbying and polls.

Federal Communication

Along with the navigator, Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino’s office saw the convoy as an opportunity for communication, according to messages filed as evidence by the protesters’ lawyer.

The messages, issued by an adviser to the minister’s office in the days before the convoy’s arrival, said they wanted to use the protesters’ “extreme comments” calling for a January 6, 2021 uprising. Washington.

“This article may be of use,” the text message reads.

In response, another political consultant warned: “If we try too hard, it will inspire lunatics”.

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