Ottawa | The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) paid a communications company $185,992.85 to support it during the occupation of the federal capital last January and February.
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Navigator agency staff have been meeting daily with PAHO management throughout the crisis, according to an itemized bill presented in testimony before a hearing committee of the Emergency Operations Committee on Monday.
The firm provided routine communications services such as analysis of media coverage of the crisis, speaking notes, support in organizing press conferences and creation of press releases.
But that’s not all.
The company provided strategic advice and ensured communication with representatives of civil society, including elected members of the city council. He also approached politicians for support.
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Police Deputy Chief Patricia Ferguson feared the company’s influence would negatively affect navigator field operations and endanger officers, her own handwritten notes reported in testimony.
During his testimony a few days ago, Mr. Steve Bell, replacing Slowley, was also concerned about the influence of the navigator.
According to him, former Chief Slowey engaged in “inappropriate” discussions with navigator experts, including them in “discussions about how the police are handling it.”
For his part, former head of OPS, Peter Slowley, denied during Monday’s cross-examination at the commission that he had not discussed activities with the firm, which specializes in public relations, crisis management, lobbying and polling.
In addition to the navigator, Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino’s office saw the convoy as an opportunity for communication, according to reports filed as evidence by the opposition’s attorney.
The messages, released by an adviser to the minister’s office in the days before the convoy’s arrival, say they intend to use the “extremely radical views” of protesters who have called for a revolt on January 6, 2021. Washington.
“There may be an opportunity to use this story,” the text says.
In response, another political consultant warned: “If we go too hard, it will encourage crazy people”.
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