By Amy Mek. Article originally published at RAIR Foundation USA.
The OPC seems to be exploiting residents of Ottawa to seize the millions of dollars Canadians donated to the Truckers Freedom Convoy.
A government-linked Ottawa-based group, Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation (OPC), launched a public commission into the effects of Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest in downtown Ottawa last winter. The globalist-led group claims to want “to address resident’s trauma and losses” due to the convoy. However, they seem to be exploiting residents of Ottawa in order to seize the millions of dollars Canadians donated to the Truckers Freedom Convoy.
RAIR Foundation USA has produced a short documentary that displays some of the OPC’s dirty tactics and the deceptions used to discredit the Freedom Convoy for their own financial gain.
On January 29, 2022, the truckers’ protest known as Freedom Convoy 2022 swept into Canada’s capital Ottawa. It made headlines worldwide before being crushed on February 18 by Prime Minister Trudeau’s militarized police, following his invocation of the Emergencies Act on February 14. The Freedom Convoy, which consisted of thousands of trucks (and supporters of the truckers) across Canada, was a protest against the federal government’s mandate that all US-Canada cross-border truckers had to be vaccinated against Covid. It was also a protest against the lockdowns and mask mandates imposed by the government and against its overreach, justified as pandemic measures in general.
In the aftermath of the Freedom Convoy, Canadians have been divided on whether the trucker’s protest was a legitimate rebellion against government tyranny or an “occupation” that terrorized residents of downtown Ottawa who were forced to endure diesel fumes and endless honking.
The OPC’s two faces
The OPC claims to be an “independent, nonpartisan inquiry” into the “lived experiences” of Ottawa residents during the 2022 convoy “occupation.” The government-backed globalist group was formed this past June, and since its inception, the supposed objective group has released endless self-contradictory statements.
The OPC promised, over the coming months, to actively listen to Ottawa residents (especially those who lived in the downtown “red zone” of the Freedom Convoy) in order “to better understand the impact the Convoy had on us locals,” not to point fingers and place blame they said, but to “find proactive solutions and make recommendations for the future.”
Unfortunately, they seemed to have already made up their minds well before hearing a single testimony, claiming in the media that Ottawa residents were traumatized, scarred, and tortured by the terrible Convoy.
The OPC’s founder, left-wing activist Ken Rubin, said that other current federal and city reviews of the convoy were “barely scratching the surface of the dangerous, undemocratic, and hurtful occupation. I’ve never seen this level of trauma in a community.”
He said it would listen to residents, business owners, workers, and organizations “whose lives were turned upside down” and were subject to insults and so-called torture-level loud noise. It will also examine what failed to happen that might have ended the occupation sooner and how to prevent it from happening again.
“It was such a dramatic event – and it still isn’t over.” He said that the Commission would also hear how residents are being affected by the repeated reappearances of convoy protesters.
Despite the outward displays of bias, the group still claimed that at their Public hearings, all would be welcome and that any locals (especially those most affected downtown residents) could come to testify in a judgment-free space where the respected Commissioners would listen with a compassionate ear. They mentioned on their website that hearings might be separated by “affected neighborhoods, persons with disabilities, experts, journalists, and academics”—they never once mentioned screening and censoring out local speakers at the hearings who had positive viewpoints and experiences of the Convoy—that was– until they were publicly accused of doing precisely that on September 21, 2022, and busted for bias.
During the September 21 hearing, when confronted, they awkwardly stated, “we are not intending to censor out opposing viewpoints…” and “we’re so pleased with the first hearing, we couldn’t have asked for a wider variety of views…”
However, they did censor people who did not follow their biased script. The OPC would not allow Ottawa residents who felt the Convoy was positive and peaceful to speak. They used dirty tactics to weed out speakers who challenged their narrative while simultaneously pretending their hand-picked speakers had come about organically.
For example, on September 15, the Commission told Madeline, a witness who wanted to testify about her positive experiences at the protest, wasn’t welcome to speak, supposedly due to limited space. However, another witness, Christine, was told on September 19 she was welcome to speak because the Commission was led to believe the Convoy negatively impacted her. The Commission’s actions showed they were only interested in stacking the deck with witnesses who supported their narrative.
Are the OPC’s real motivations for financial gain
Many have questioned the motives of the OPC’s self-contradictory approach. Why would they go to such great lengths to pretend to be independent and nonpartisan while simultaneously being so openly, blatantly, and unabashedly biased? Even to go so far as lie and deny in front of the cameras that they were screening out supporters while admitting it the following day? Could the committee have a financial objective?
A deeper dive into the steering committee shows that it is headed by the Chinese National, 21-year-old Zexi Li, a federal government employee suing the trucker’s convoy protesters in a $9.8M class action. She is “seeking damages for emotional and mental distress, headaches, sleeping difficulties, difficulty concentrating, and interference with quiet enjoyment of her home.”
It seems as if the well-funded Commission is helping to gather witness testimony to strengthen Li’s financially motivated case. However, for the witnesses to help Li, it appears the Commission would have to position itself as objective and not biased.
In Canada, if one wants to be considered credible as a witness (or expert witness) in Court, one has to sign a code of conduct and take an oath swearing to be “independent, impartial, objective, and only there to assist the court and not an advocate for a particular party.” (Federal Court Rules schedule)
The left-wing commissioners (who could theoretically act as experts in Court and use this testimony as evidence) keep going out of their way to ask about any extra costs incurred by those in the community who hated the truckers.
On a somewhat related note, in Canada (before 2018), registered Canadian charities who wanted tax-free status could not spend more than 10% of their resources on political activity —that is, until one of the OPC Commissioners (lawyer, head of a Charity and UN representative) Leilani Farha launched a Charter Challenge claiming the law (income Tax Act) limiting Charities political actions violated her freedom of speech (link to PDF Canada_ without Poverty vs. AG of Canada). Farha won, so now “Charities “ can act as lobbyists and still issue tax receipts for donations that pay for their lobbying activities.
Sadly, many of the same tactics deployed in Canada are being used to squash freedom protesters worldwide. As RAIR Foundation USA recently reported, Brazil just froze the bank accounts of peaceful protesters standing up against voter fraud in their latest presidential election. Likewise, the left-wing Supreme Court used Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tactic to harm dissenters.