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Inquiry into the Emergencies Act: PM Trudeau will appear


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to appear today at the public inquiry into his government’s decision to invoke emergency powers in response to last winter’s Freedom Convoy protests.

Trudeau’s testimony will cap six weeks of hearings at the Public Order Emergency Commission, which has already heard from seven Liberal cabinet ministers explaining why the Emergencies Act was invoked in response to downtown protests. from Ottawa and at several border crossings.

The February 14 declaration of emergency – which ministers said was necessary because of risks to Canada’s security, economy and international reputation – allowed the government to extend special powers to police and financial institutions until revoked a week later.

Trudeau will likely face questions about the legal advice his cabinet has received on how to interpret the definition of “threat to the security of Canada” on which the Emergencies Act is based.

But the government has so far refused to waive solicitor-client privilege, which prevents confidential advice from becoming public – a problem a commission lawyer said earlier this week has led to a lack of transparency from the part of the government.

The commission is taking place because it is required under the oversight provisions of the Emergencies Act, and Commissioner Paul Rouleau is expected to deliver a final report to Parliament early next year.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 25, 2022

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