Rouleau Commission: Ministry of Finance fears for the car industry | Commission of Inquiry on the State of Emergency

Deputy Minister Michael Sabia, who served as chairman of the board of the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB), said the Windsor, Sarnia, Emerson, Coutts and Surrey dams are the main concern, rather than the encroachment of downtown Ottawa. .

It was a time then very thinhe mentioned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the impending Russian aggression against Ukraine.

One of the Treasury Department’s fears was that Canada would cease to be seen as a good business partner by the United States as the White House reviewed the way it does business with the United States.’foreign.

Mr. Sabia feared, among other things, that the Americans would begin to doubt that they could rely on Canada as a reliable source of supply and would shift production elsewhere in the world, which could have a significant impact. on GDP and the growth of the country.

If the border tensions were prolonged, the US view of Canada as a loyal trading partner would be undermined, and the long-term consequences would be very damaging to all our exports. , especially for the automotive sector. »

quote from Michael Sabia, Deputy Minister of Finance

For example, the closure of the Ambassador Bridge has already prompted some auto plants on both sides of the border to cut production. For this reason, Unifor even proposed to the Ford government to send union members on the spot to forcibly dismantle the dam, we recently learned at the Commission.

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Last winter, the situation around the Ambassador Bridge was tense.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette

Both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario were particularly concerned about the economic effects of Windsor Dam. And for good reason.

At the time, the Canadian government was trying to convince the United States to abandon a plan that would have exempted electric vehicles assembled in Canada from a consumption tax credit. Border blockades were hampering Ottawa’s efforts on the file, Mr. Sabia said.

This was not a side issue in Canada-US relations, it was a frontline issue.he told the Commission on Thursday.

Ottawa finally convinced Washington to extend a tax credit to electric cars assembled in Canada. But the blockages, which received significant media coverage in the United States at the time, almost derailed the whole thing, Mr. Sabia argued.

He emphasized that electric vehicles are the future of the automobile industry. So if we failed to do that, the consequences for Canada’s central auto industry would be very, very serious.

Three executives who testified in the roll commission.

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Isabelle Jacques (left), Michael Sabia (centre) and Rhys Mendes (right) testify at the Canadian Treasury Emergency Commission of Inquiry on Thursday.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld

To date, the Ministry of Finance has not prepared an assessment of the economic impact of all these obstacles.

The true extent of the economic impact of lockdowns is difficult to determine because it depends on the duration of the disruptions and the movement of goods across borders affects almost every industry at some point in the business process.we can read in his institutional report.

But since the border closures are ultimately relatively short-lived, the ministry believes the effects are temporary.we add.

The Trudeau government invoked the Emergency Act on February 14, 2022 to end a rally of trucks and other protesters opposing the paralyzing COVID-19 health measures in downtown Ottawa from Saturday, January 29 to Sunday, February 20.

Adopted in 1988 to implement the War Measures Act, this law specifically stipulates that a public inquiry must investigate a fortiori the circumstances that led the authorities to take such a decision.

Testimony from Michael Sabia, Rhys Mendes and Isabelle Jacques is to be followed by the much-anticipated testimony from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser, Jody Thomas.

Documents presented to the Rouleau Commission earlier this week show that Ms. Thomas viewed last winter’s protests in downtown Ottawa and near border crossings as a protest. a threat to democracy From Canada.

He also requested it without going through official channels hazard assessment to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), just hours before Justin Trudeau announced the activation of the Emergency Act.

Flag of the investigative commission on the state of emergency.

The public hearings, which will end on November 25, have caused all sorts of revelations in recent weeks.

In particular, the commission learned on Monday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) never considered last winter’s events to be a threat to national security.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) believed so too A significant operational impact that could threaten the economic security and well-being of Canadabut it is strange that this idea did not appear in his daily reports until the 14th of February.

Before invoking the Emergency LawCBSA determined that it might be useful to him, but he never, ever advised the Trudeau government to act one way or another, ex-President John Ossowski vowed Wednesday.He retired today.

Commissioner RCMPBrenda Lucki also insisted Tuesday that she was not involved in the decision and that federal police were not under any political pressure to intervene.

GiveSendGo: 59% of non-returnable donors are in the US

In addition, many Americans are still waiting to be reimbursed for the truck convoy that paralyzed downtown Ottawa last winter.

According to documents submitted to the commission as evidence, 59% of donors who have not yet received their money live in the United States.

These contributions, paid through the financial platform GiveSendGo, were frozen after the intervention of Canadian justice. They make up 46% of all seized amounts.

According to the CBC

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