Ex-constable tasked with protecting Trudeau may have leaked PM’s schedule: police report

A former member of Justin Trudeau’s security team may have leaked the prime minister’s schedule, according to an intelligence document filed ahead of the investigation into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act l last winter.

A “person of interest” profile from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) citing the RCMP, a former RCMP officer “reportedly leaked the Prime Minister’s schedule a few months ago.” The document is dated January 30, 2022.

The document says the individual – whose name is redacted – resigned from the RCMP in 2021 in response to the federal government’s vaccination mandate for the RCMP. The mandate came into force on October 6, 2021.

The document – again quoting the RCMP – said the individual was also a sniper and intelligence officer. The document did not indicate who received the leaked information.

“[Redacted] has been very vocal on social media in his belief that vaccination mandates are in violation of the Canadian Constitution,” the document states.

The Public Order Emergency Commission inquiry is holding hearings in Ottawa to investigate the federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to end an anti-vaccine protest that crippled downtown Ottawa for weeks last winter.

The profile says the former RCMP officer is involved with the “Mounties For Freedom” group, made up of current and former Mounties who oppose COVID-19 public health measures.

Although the individual is not named, his redacted photo is from a YouTube interview with Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer whose work history and post-RCMP activities match the profile.

In this interview, published Nov. 9, 2021, Bulford told former philosophy professor Julie Ponesse that he had become disillusioned with protective policing — and that Trudeau’s politics had contributed to his disillusionment.

“I admit I think it made a difference who was in power. I think so,” Bulford said in the video.

“It’s not that I don’t care about his safety. It’s just that I knew my heart wasn’t really in it anymore and I was lying to myself if I stayed in that role.”

Bulford said he has been on leave since the warrant took effect, but added that he is still technically employed by the RCMP.

The person of interest profile says the RCMP officer who leaked the Prime Minister’s schedule was “the self-described ‘in charge’ of the Freedom Convoy 2022 command post.”

Bulford did not respond to a CBC News request for comment. He told the Globe and Mail last week that he never revealed any sensitive or craft information that would be protected under information security law.

The Prime Minister Protection Detail (PMPD), a unit of the RCMP, is responsible for protecting prime ministers and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Trudeau, back left, is surrounded by his security team as he waves to people in the crowd during a visit to BC Day celebrations in Penticton on August 6, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The RCMP did not respond to questions from CBC about why it suspects a former officer leaked the schedule, when the schedule was leaked and to whom.

An RCMP spokesperson said they will not comment on matters related to the so-called “freedom convoy” – although the leak occurred months before the convoy’s protest began.

“Please note that RCMP officials will appear before the Public Order Emergency Commission inquiry in November and will refrain from commenting on any testimonies or issues related to the freedom convoy until then in order to respect investigation and its progress,” the spokesperson said in an email. .

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in an email that the PMO was “not in a position to comment on security matters”.

Trudeau adopted a number of notable security measures during his tenure as prime minister. He canceled a rally and wore a protective vest.

Trudeau also had gravel was thrown at him as he boarded a bus in London, Ontario last year during the federal election campaign. Police charged Shane Marshall of St. Thomas, Ont., of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with this incident.

Bulford is expected to testify Friday at the Emergencies Act inquest.

The leak is troubling, say security experts

Wesley Wark, senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation, which specializes in security and intelligence, said the alleged leak was troubling.

“The Prime Minister must trust the RCMP Protective Policing Section not only to protect him, but also to keep information about his movements secure,” Wark told CBC News.

Leaks of such sensitive information could also affect Canada’s security reputation among other countries, Wark said.

“States are rightly concerned about the reputation they may have for protecting secrets, and that relates to intelligence secrets, and that relates to secrets, for example, around their ability to protect VIPs,” he said. he declared.

“For a country like Canada, which prides itself on its international commitment and the various roles it plays within the international community, it wants to be able to welcome, and of course protect, heads of state, for example, or key ministers who may be visiting Ottawa or elsewhere in Canada, against any security threats. »

Security intelligence expert Wesley Wark at the University of Ottawa’s Social Sciences Building on May 14, 2013. Wark said a leak of sensitive security information could affect Canada’s international reputation. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Pierre-Yves Bourduas, former assistant commissioner of the RCMP, said the profile does not indicate that more than one person may have been involved in the leak of sensitive information. He added that the profile cites only one potential leak that allegedly happened months before the profile was written.

“There does not appear to be any recent information that [has been] received from the prime minister’s security service,” Bourduas said.

Bourduas said it should also be noted that the profile described the individual as “seemingly cooperative and outgoing with peaceful intentions.”

But Bourduas said a leak of sensitive information would still be alarming – and potentially dangerous for officers tasked with protecting the prime minister.

“You would have to really dig deep and try to figure out what the source of this particular leak is,” Bourduas said.

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