Emergency Act Investigator says focus is on government actions, not protesters


The commissioner, who presides over the government’s invocation of the emergency law, said the commission’s work revolves around orders given by parliament rather than focusing on protesters’ actions given by the cabinet.

“While the inquiry addresses a wide range of issues, the focus remains on federal decisions,” said Commissioner Paul Rouleau in opening remarks during the public hearing phase of the investigation in Ottawa.

He said the mandate from Congress is one of “public accountability, the legitimate right to know why the government declared a state of emergency, and whether the actions taken by the government were appropriate.”

Similar to the duties given by Congress and mandated by law after the Emergency Act was invoked, Rouleaux worked on additional duties given by the Liberal government.

Rouleau said the Cabinet, through a board mandate, asked the committee to focus on issues such as the movement’s evolution, goals, leadership, participants, the impact of domestic and international funding, the role of “misinformation and disinformation”, and economic issues. I told him to guess. Impact of lockdowns, police role and engagement.

“While these topics have been identified as worthy of attention, it is the mandate given to us by Congress to advance the Commission’s work,” said the Commissioner, a judge in the Ontario Court of Appeals. I got

Rouleau said the main questions the investigation will attempt to answer are why the government declared a public order emergency, how it used its powers, and whether those actions were appropriate.

freedom convoy

The liberal government declared a public order emergency on February 14 to address cross-border protests and border closures calling for the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

By the time the emergency law was invoked, some civil disobedience activities had already been resolved through regular law enforcement actions, while others voluntarily disbanded shortly thereafter.

Emergency powers were only used to clean up the Freedom Convoy truck-based protests in Ottawa. Several Executives said it would take extraordinary powers to compel a tow company to remove a truck. Such powers are in fact already contained in Article 129 of the Criminal Code.

The use of the emergency law has triggered a review of mechanisms such as the establishment of a special joint committee of parliamentarians and senators. started Works in March.

Some members of the committee expressed frustration at the lack of responses by ministers’ testimony, and repeatedly questioned whether the government would release the trust of the cabinet and the privileges of lawyers and clients to see the full picture of the case. I asked.

Commissioner Rouleaux also said in his opening remarks that there was a problem in obtaining relevant documents.

He said the federal government was deploying “considerable efforts” to produce the documents, and some were still available as of Thursday. or limited by other forms of privilege, but Rouleaux said work was being done to make these available to the public as much as possible.

In addition to the large number of federal documents, Rouleau said the commission received more than 50,000 documents from various organizations ranging from police services to civilians.

The Public Order Emergency Committee plans to hear from more than 50 witnesses by November 25, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and convoy organizers.

Noe Chartier


NoƩ Chartier is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret