Senior Police Officers Emergency Measures Act Inquiry Hearing


A senior Ottawa police officer says the Federal Emergencies Act was helpful in eliminating the « Freedom Convoy » protesters, but he doesn’t know if it was necessary.

Supt. Robert Bernier, who oversaw the Ottawa Police Command Center for part of the February protests, is today continuing to testify at a public inquiry into the federal government’s decision to invoke the law in February.

Bernier had previously told the hearing that in the days before the government triggered the legislation, police had developed an operational plan to get protesters out based on existing laws.

He says the Ontario Provincial Police had 34 tow trucks and drivers ready to move vehicles blocking the streets around Parliament Hill the day before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the invocation of the emergency measures.

Inquiry attorneys asked Bernier if he thought federal legislation was necessary to evict the protesters and the superintendent replied, « It’s hard for me to say. »

Bernier says that once police intervened, she noted that some protesters intended to stay and that officers « didn’t want to force a confrontation. »

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 26, 2022


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