Canada’s federal police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have taken responsibility for extensive mechanical damage inflicted upon three pieces of heavy machinery parked on private property near the Alberta-Montana Canada-U.S. border crossing blockade at Coutts, which is occurring at the same time as Ottawa’s Freedom Convoy trucker occupation.
In a Feb. 13 exclusive by independent media outlet Rebel News, a recording of a telephone call between RCMP Corporal Troy Savinkoff and Rebel reporter Syd Fizzard showed the officer stating unequivocally: “So, I can confirm that we disabled three, looks like three excavators, to prevent the equipment from being used in the illegal activity of the blockade.”
In the remainder of the video, an unidentified man documented damage done to the equipment, which was sitting in what appears to be the middle of a farmer’s field.
Electrical damage including the cutting of battery cables, starter solenoids, glow plug solenoids, and control box wiring was inflicted. Additionally, a number of fuel lines and filters were removed with their intakes being spray foamed shut.
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According to another anonymous man interviewed, “a few of the boys” brought the equipment and stowed it on private land “with the permission of the owner to park it here.”
The man stated that originally, when the equipment was parked in view of the highway, the RCMP requested the owner of the property move the equipment to a more conspicuous location.
After the excavators were moved, the man stated that is when the equipment was sabotaged.
“All three machines, they’re valuable machines. And it’s going to take a lot of work to put them back into order. I can’t see that happening…like, there’s parts missing. Parts have to be replaced. There’s a lot of labor that has to go into fixing these things before these fellows can use their equipment again,” he stated.
Fizzard asked Corporal Savinkoff if there was “an expectation as to how [the excavators] were going to be used in the blockade” that the RCMP relied on for justification in its disabling of the machinery.
Savinkoff could only answer, “I’m not sure…I wasn’t part of that planning or the execution of that. So I don’t think I can comment any further than that.”
In a follow up call Fizzard asked the officer to confirm “exactly what the damage was done by the RCMP.”
“I don’t know what we did to disable those vehicles, Syd,” Savinkoff stated. “The specific steps that we took to disable those vehicles, I don’t know.”
The move comes just days after farmers joined the blockade at Coutts, calling on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a Conservative, to remove all Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions.
Although only a day later Kenney eliminated vaccine passports, protestors remain unsatisfied because the province’s QR code vaccination status database remains in play, mask mandates are not eliminated until March 1, and all other restrictions remain in effect indefinitely contingent on hospitalization rates remaining stable.
On Feb. 14, RCMP announced law enforcement had made a move on a segment of the Coutts blockade, which it claims had a cache of firearms and a large amount of ammunition and was ready to use it.
“The group was said to have a willingness to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade,” the force stated in a tweet.