'You shouldn't need more tools' to clear bridge protest in Windsor: Trudeau to Ford

OTTAWA — A newly released document shows that before invoking the Emergencies Act last winter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Ontario Premier Doug Ford that police shouldn't need more legal tools to clear protesters from a key border crossing.

A readout of their conversation on Feb. 9 was tabled as evidence before the public inquiry investigating the government's decision to bring in emergency powers in an effort to clear protest blockades in downtown Ottawa and several border crossings.

It says Ford told Trudeau reopening the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor was the priority, and that Ontario's attorney general was looking at legal ways to give the police more tools to deal with it.

The readout shows Trudeau said the protest wasn't legal, and that Ontario shouldn't need more legal tools.

The Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, the same day the Ambassador Bridge reopened to traffic.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is holding public hearings in Ottawa through to Nov. 25.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.

Laura Osman and David Fraser, The Canadian Press