Photo: Don Browne
Public hearings for the Public Order Emergency Commission will begin on Thursday, October 13, 2022, in the Bambrick Room at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. The six weeks of public hearings are expected to conclude on November 25.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet decided to invoke the Emergencies Act on February 14th, 2022 in response to the Truckers’ “Freedom Convoy” which saw Truckers and their supporters camped out in downtown Ottawa for three weeks to protest COVID-19 mandates, lockdowns, and the forced release of private medical information.
On April 25, 2022, the Government of Canada established the Public Order Emergency Commission to inquire into the circumstances that led to the declaration of emergency that was in place from February 14-23, 2022, and the measures taken for dealing with the emergency. Justice Paul Rouleau was appointed Commissioner. The Commission’s work was delayed when it was announced on September 2nd that Justice Rouleau needed to undergo surgery.
“I want to assure Canadians of my commitment to completing the work of the Commission in a timely manner,” Commissioner Rouleau said at that time. “Commission staff, with the cooperation of all parties, has made significant progress over the past several weeks in obtaining and reviewing documents, conducting interviews, and preparing for the start of public hearings.”
Submissions from the public will be accepted by the Commission until October 31, 2022. For members of the public who would like to make a submission, its website contains information including:
“The Commission has a broad mandate, central to which is the task of examining and reporting on the circumstances that led to the declaration of a public order emergency and the measures taken for dealing with the declared emergency from February 14 to 23, 2022.
The Commission welcomes contributions from all members of the public on their experiences, views, observations, and ideas in order to carry out its mandate and fully appreciate how these matters affected Canadians. This is an important part of the Commission’s investigation, and you are encouraged to make a written submission by following the guidelines below.
It is important to note that the work of the Commission focuses on examining and assessing the basis for the Government’s decision to declare a public order emergency, the circumstances that led to the declaration, and the appropriateness and effectiveness of the measures selected by the Government to deal with the then-existing situation. In light of this mandate, public submissions addressing the questions set out below will be most helpful to the Commission’s work.”