Lawyers for Doug Ford and Sylvia Jones plead respect for the rule of law

OTTAWA — Lawyers for Premier Doug Ford and Ontario’s former public safety official argued Tuesday that « irreparable harm » to the rule of law would be caused if parliamentary immunity is not respected. the elected.

The State of Emergency Commission has subpoenaed Premier Ford and Sylvia Jones, who was Solicitor General for Ontario at the time of the “freedom convoy” protests last winter.

The two elected officials are asking the Federal Court to suspend these subpoenas until the court considers the merits of the request: they want the outright cancellation of these subpoenas, invoking the parliamentary privilege of deputies.

In court documents, the commission, chaired by Judge Paul Rouleau, argues that Mr. Ford and Ms. Jones have exaggerated this parliamentary privilege and that their request should be dismissed by the Federal Court.

The Rouleau commission is examining the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to end the « freedom convoy » protests in Ottawa and Windsor, Ont., last winter.

The commission wants to hear from Mr. Ford and Ms. Jones about how they handled the occupation of downtown Ottawa and the blocking of traffic from the United States at the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit.

Susan Keenan, attorney for the Ontario government, says that in the proper functioning of a constitutional system, parliamentary privilege is what ensures the separation between the legislative power and the judicial power.

“It is important that parliamentary privilege be protected when it is threatened, otherwise the harm is not only irreparable, but it is cumulative,” pleaded Me Keenan.

The Ontario government argues that if the Federal Court refuses to suspend subpoenas, it would have a chilling effect on all legislative bodies and their members across the country. This would then expose politicians to possible fines, contempt of court or imprisonment if they choose not to testify in a proceeding.

The Ontario government argues this could prevent politicians from doing their job.


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