OTTAWA — The federal government has officially called an independent public inquiry into its use of the Emergencies Act during the blockades at Canadian border crossings and in Ottawa earlier this year.
Millions of dollars in trade was halted for days at several border crossings and the streets of downtown Ottawa were flooded with demonstrators as part of a national convoy of big-rigs and trucks protesting COVID-19 restrictions.
The Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in history on Feb. 15, granting extraordinary temporary powers to police to clear people out and to banks to freeze the accounts of those involved.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government has established the Public Order Emergency Commission to look at the circumstances that led to the Emergencies Act being invoked.
The Prime Minister’s Office says that includes the evolution of the convoy, the impact of funding and disinformation, the economic impact, and efforts of police and other responders before and after the declaration.
Ontario Appeal Court Justice Paul S. Rouleau has been named commissioner of the inquiry and must provide a final report in English and French to the federal government by Feb. 20 next year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2022.
Laura Osman, The Canadian Press