Judge rules Doug Ford, Sylvia Jones immune from testifying at Emergencies inquiry

A Federal Court judge has decided Ontario’s premier and a top minister will not have to testify at the Emergencies Act inquiry in Ottawa due to immunity provided to them by parliamentary privilege.

Federal Court Justice Simon Fothergill says a summons issued to Premier Doug Ford and deputy premier Sylvia Jones by the Public Order Emergency Commission is valid, but the pair can resist the summons by invoking their parliamentary privilege.

The commission is examining the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to end the so-called Freedom Convoy protests last winter in Ottawa and Windsor, Ont.

Commissioner Paul Rouleau summoned Ford and Jones to testify at the inquiry because he wanted to know their role in the crisis that left downtown Ottawa occupied for weeks and traffic blocked from entering Canada at the country’s busiest border crossing.

Ford and Jones filed an application for a judicial review and sought a stay of the summons.

They argued the summons should be quashed because they are immune to testifying due to parliamentary privilege that allows them to focus on their duties at Queen’s Park.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press