Public inquiry investigating Justin Trudeau's use of Emergencies Act during "Freedom Convoy"

Jun 1 2022, 8:41 pm

A public inquiry is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Government to justify the unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act, information which is currently being kept secret under cabinet confidence principles.

Canada’s Public Order Emergency Commission is conducting the inquiry, looking into why the Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in the country’s history this past February.

The Commission was established by the Governor in Council on April 25, 2022, and intends to conduct an independent public inquiry as required by the Emergencies Act following the declaration of a public order emergency by the Government of Canada on February 14, 2022.

The Commission is asking the government to “explain its decision” and disclose specific information about invoking the act, including advice that is currently being protected by the cabinet.

Opposition parties have urged Liberals to disclose information about invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act but the Liberal administration has denied the requests.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is calling for “cooperation and flexibility” from all parties in order to “meet the challenge of the tight timeline” — which will reach a deadline in February of 2023. This means that the Commission will have to complete its hearings and fact-finding process by the end of October 2022.

The Honourable Paul Rouleau, who heads up the Commission, has indicated that the inquiry intends to hold public hearings in September and October. “The Commission will also engage academics and others with relevant expertise to prepare research and policy papers on some of the key issues arising from the Commission’s mandate,” says the Public Order Emergency Commission statement. Members of the public will also be given an opportunity to share their experiences and provide their views to the Commission throughout the inquiry.

Opposition parties have voiced their frustrations to the Commission, stating that Liberal ministers testifying about the use of the Emergencies Act have already appealed to cabinet confidence and refuse to answer any additional questions as to why the act was invoked.

Once invoked, the Emergencies Act gave police unprecedented powers to be able to rid Ottawa of the protestors.

Since the Commission decided to launch an inquiry, all three of Canada’s opposition parties have called on the Liberal government to be more transparent about its decision to pull the trigger on the act.

All documents about the Commission’s inquiry can be found on the Public Order Emergency Commission’s website.

Ty JadahTy Jadah

+ News