Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Windsor mayor told feds things were “smooth” on bridge before Emergencies Act invoked

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Text messages between Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkins and federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino indicate that Mendicino was informed by officials that the Ambassador Bridge blockade would be cleared on February 13th.

The text messages were displayed by Commission counsel Natalie Rodrigues as part of Dilkins’ testimony at the Public Order Emergency Commission on November 7th.

Text messages between Windsor Mayor Dilkins and Public Safety Minister Mendicino indicate that actions were proceeding “smoothly” at the Ambassador Bridge on the day that Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. Image: POEC

The text messages, sent on February 13th and the morning of February 14th, included Dilkins reporting that “police have full control of the area now” and that activities on the Ambassador Bridge were “smooth so far.” Some hours later on February 14th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act despite the fact that the Windsor situation had been resolved by police using existing legislative powers.

As part of the same text message exchange, Mendicino tells Dilkins that “To the extent you can and be supportive of any additional authorities that gets Windsor the resources you need to keep the bridge open people safe, that would be great.” This comment was made after the Ambassador Bridge was re-opened but before Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act.

When asked about this exchange by Rodriguez, Dilkins replied, “Well, I think, you know, we all know that that act has never been used before. And we all know that it’s a it’s a serious act, and requires this type of thing to happen afterwards, which is extraordinary. And so if they were going to move forward with that, I think he’s saying, you know, if you could express the way I took that as if you could express what was happening on the ground that would help justify this, that would be helpful to us. And I think it’s really, really important, you know, to to reflect on that statement, but also use that statement, based on what we were seeing on the ground in Windsor.”