On Friday, Justin Trudeau is scheduled to close off the hearing of the Public Order Emergencies Commission by testifying regarding his decisions to activate the Emergencies Act to clear out the demonstrations that took place during the “Freedom Convoy” earlier this year.
The proceedings have been for several weeks, and as part of their mandate to investigate Trudeau’s reasoning for invoking the contentious law earlier this year, they have heard from scores of witnesses. The proceedings are now in progress.
During the course of the investigation, the panel has taken testimony from members of law enforcement, citizens of the municipality of Ottawa, leaders of the demonstration known as the “Freedom Convoy,” officials from intelligence agencies, and a great number of politicians. The investigation has at times been contentious, to the point that a spectator, as well as a lawyer, were both asked to leave the room on different occasions.
This prime minister, who made the announcement on February 14 that the decision to activate the Emergency Act would be made, will face questioning concerning his choice on Friday. This marks the climax of the evidence that has been given to this point.
This is what you should anticipate happening.
What was it that Trudeau was recommended to do?
An important turning point in the investigation occurred when David Vigneault, the head of the (CSIS), stated that he had suggested to Prime Minister Trudeau that he apply the Emergency Measures Act.
Up until that point, the attorney who represented the convoy leaders, Brendan Miller, have already spent nearly every day up to that point inquire as to whether or not the convoy qualified as a national security threat according to the CSIS Act, that is the definition that is employed by the Emergencies Act.
During his evidence, Vigneault admitted that perhaps the convoy did not satisfy the threshold established by the CSIS Legislation; yet, he said that he encouraged Trudeau to activate the act regardless of this fact.
To see the video, click here: According to what the panel has heard, the Director of CSIS encouraged Prime Minister Trudeau to apply the Emergencies Act during the convoy.
According to what the panel has heard, the Director of CSIS encouraged Prime Minister Trudeau to apply the Emergencies Act during the convoy.
The legal counsel for the Commission inquired as to whether or not they had correctly understood Vigneault’s line of thinking at the time, which was as follows: “if you take a broader meaning but then look more extensively, you keep coming up with the recommendation you decided to give to a prime minister of your presumption that it was needed to invoke the act.”
Vigneault continued by saying, “Yes, you have it precisely right.”
It is quite possible that Trudeau will be questioned about this suggestion, in addition to any others that he may have had before invoking the act, such as the one provided by Jody Thomas, who serves as Trudeau’s national security adviser.
A question of national security: does the convoy pose a risk?
As a replacement for the War Measures Act, the Emergency Situations Act was drafted with the intention of being a less restrictive piece of emergency law than its predecessor. As a result of this, there are stringent requirements that must be met before its abilities may be used in any situation.