Ottawa police failed to follow procedure to get help during 'Freedom Convoy': Blair

OTTAWA — Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says Ottawa police didn't follow the procedure needed to get RCMP and provincial police officers to help respond to the "Freedom Convoy" protest last winter.

A summary of Blair's interview with commission lawyers was read aloud today during a hearing of the public inquiry into the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act.

In the summary, Blair says Ottawa police were supposed to go to the Ontario Provincial Police to ask for more officers before reaching out to the RCMP — as per the Police Services Act.

But in his testimony at the inquiry, former Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly says Blair never abided by that rule when he led the Toronto police.

Sloly says the issue was never raised with him during several meetings with Blair and other officials while protests were ongoing in Ottawa.

Blair is expected to appear as a witness in a few weeks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2022.

Laura Osman and David Fraser, The Canadian Press