Liberals’ decision to invoke Emergencies Act justified, commission says

The Public Order Emergency Commission says the Liberal government met the “very high threshold” for invoking the Emergencies Act amid the weeks-long “Freedom Convoy” protests last winter.

In a report released today, Justice Paul Rouleau concludes a series of policing failures and a “failure of federalism” led to a protest that spun out of control and had a striking impact on Ottawa residents.

Rouleau says most of the emergency measures were appropriate and reasonable, while describing others, such as the power to suspend vehicle insurance, as counterproductive.

The 2,000-page report calls the “Freedom Convoy” a “singular moment in history” exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as online misinformation and disinformation.

Rouleau says he does not accept the testimony of protest organizers who described the demonstrations as lawful and peaceful.

The report details Rouleau’s analysis of the evidence presented during public hearings last fall, and makes 56 recommendations directed at improving police operations and the use of the act itself.

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