REPORT: OTTAWA MET THE ''VERY HIGH THRESHOLD'' FOR INVOKING EMERGENCY POWERS AMID ''FREEDOM CONVOY'' PROTESTS
Feb 17, 2023
By Bob Komsic
While the head of the public inquiry into the Trudeau government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act last winter says the Liberals met the ”very high threshold” to do so.
However, Commissioner Justice Paul Rouleau concludes a series of policing failures and a ”failure of federalism” led to things spinning out of control in Ottawa.
He says most of the measures were appropriate and reasonable, while describing others, the power to suspend vehicle insurance, as counter-productive.
He also didn’t accept the testimony of protest organizers who said the demonstrations were lawful and peaceful.
Rouleau says squabbling among police agencies and the province’s refusal to take part in political-level talks aimed at finding a solution compounded the problem, and that it was ”troubling” Ontario’s political leaders took so long to engage.
He goes on to say the fact neither Doug Ford nor former solicitor-general Sylvia Jones responded to summons to testify before the inquiry left the commission at a ”regrettable disadvantage” in its understanding of the government’s perspective.
The report makes 56 recommendations aimed at improving police operations and the use of the law, which was used for the first and only time since it was created in 1988.