Ottawa: start of the public inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act

OTTAWA — The public inquiry into the federal government’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act last February begins this Thursday in downtown Ottawa.

The organizers of the self-proclaimed « Freedom Convoy », Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seven federal ministers, representatives of the police forces as well as civil servants are called to testify in the coming weeks.

Commissioner Paul Rouleau and his staff are expected to spend the first day presenting documents and evidence before testimony begins on Friday.

The commission’s hearings will be held at Library and Archives Canada in downtown Ottawa. They will be broadcast live and members of the public will be able to share their views with the commission online.

The federal Liberals used the Emergencies Act for the first time to give authorities more power in the context of border blockades and the occupation of downtown Ottawa by demonstrators protesting the containment, vaccination against COVID-19 and other health measures put in place during the pandemic.

The 1988 law requires that a public inquiry be held to review the decisions relating to it, and a report from the commission is due early next year.

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