The highly anticipated Emergencies Act Inquiry found that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the right decision when he declared a national emergency amidst last February’s anti-vaccine protests in Ottawa.
“I have concluded that in this case, the very high threshold for invocation was met. I have done so with reluctance,” announced Justice Paul Rouleau in conclusion of his 2,092-page detailed report on the Liberal government’s unprecedented decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. “It is regrettable that such a situation arose here, because in my view it could have been avoided.”
The unveiling of the report concludes a 10-month inquiry involving witness testimonies, government disclosures, and police documents regarding the anti-government protests that shut down several border crossings and gridlocked Canada’s capital city for three weeks. “Cabinet was reasonably concerned that the situation it was facing was worsening and at risk of becoming dangerous and unmanageable,” Justice Rouleau wrote in the report. “There was credible and compelling evidence supporting both a subjective and objective reasonable belief in the existence of a public order emergency. The decision to invoke the Act was appropriate.”
Justice Rouleau dismissed protestors’ insistence that their demonstrations were peaceful, and instead branded the protests as unsafe, violent, and disruptive to the residents of Ottawa. “I do not accept the organizers’ descriptions of the protests in Ottawa as lawful, calm, peaceful, or something resembling a celebration,” he explained. “I accept the evidence of the residents, police, and municipal politicians that many participants took advantage of the lack of police supervision to disrupt and intimidate residents. There was disregard for both the law and the well-being of the people of Ottawa.”
The report also stated that invocation of the Emergencies Act could have been entirely avoided if levels of government and police agencies hadn’t made a series of errors. “The response to the Freedom Convoy involved a series of policing failures,” Justice Rouleau wrote. “Some of the missteps may have been small, but others were significant, and taken together, they contributed to a situation that spun out of control.”
Justice Rouleau criticized Ontario Premier Doug Ford for not abiding by the decree of federalism, whereby political leaders failed “to rise above politics and collaborate for the common good.” According to the judge, Ford failed to engage in the quelling the protests when the demonstrations were concentrated in Ottawa, and instead could “have provided the people of Ottawa with a clear message that they had not been abandoned by their provincial government during a time of crisis.”
Information for this briefing was found via the Public Order Emergency Commission and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.