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Trudeau, Mendacino, Freeland, Lich, Sloly to be called as witnesses in hearings starting October 13

A protester was trampled by a mounted police officer during the Freedom Convoy protest on February 18, 2022. Photo: Twitter

October 11, 2022 (Ottawa) – Public hearings on matters related to the federal government’s decision to declare a public order emergency in February 2022 will begin on Thursday, October 13. The factual phase of the hearings of the Public Order Emergency Commission is scheduled to run until November 25. They will be held in the Bambrick Room at 395 Wellington Street, in Ottawa.

“The Commission is about to embark on the public phase of the process of finding answers to the questions assigned to it by Parliament under the Emergencies Act. This critical phase will shed light on the events that led to the declaration of the public order emergency and fully explore the reasons advanced for the declaration,” said Commissioner Paul Rouleau.

Commissioner Rouleau will begin the public hearings with an opening statement on October 13. This will be followed by presentations and overview reports by Commission Counsel. The overview reports will allow summaries of preliminary facts to be placed in evidence to provide introductory context for the written and oral evidence that will follow.

During the six weeks of factual hearings, the Commission intends to call more than 50 witnesses including protest participants, representatives of law enforcement, officials from federal, provincial, and municipal governments, as well as individuals, businesses and organizations impacted by the protests. The Commission also intends to call federal Cabinet Ministers to explore the reasons the government deemed it appropriate to invoke the Emergencies Act. A list of anticipated witnesses is appended.

The policy phase of the Commission’s work will begin on November 28 and will continue for one week. It will consist of a series of round-table panel discussions with experts in various fields related to the Commission’s mandate. Each panel will be centered on a common theme or set of questions that have been developed in consultation with the Commission’s Research Council, with input and comment from the Parties.

Members of the public are welcome at the hearings. Those wishing to attend will be required to go through courthouse-style security screening at the building entrance. The auditorium at 395 Wellington has been set up with television monitors to accommodate any overflow crowds. The hearings will also be streamed live on the Commission’s website to allow Canadians to follow the work of the Commission. The hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET each day.

“I am confident that, with the cooperation of all of the parties, the hearings will provide a fair and thorough process for the presentation of the evidence required for the Commission to be able to give the public the answers to which it is entitled,” said Commissioner Paul Rouleau.

The Public Order Emergency Commission was established by the Governor in Council on April 25, 2022, to conduct an independent public inquiry as required by the Emergencies Act following the declaration of a public order emergency by the Government of Canada on February 14, 2022. The Inquiry must submit its final report to the Government, with findings and recommendations, by February 6, 2023.

List of anticipated witnesses:

1. Victoria De La Ronde

2. Zexi Li

3. Nathalie Carrier

4. Kevin McHale

5. Catherine McKenney (City of Ottawa)

6. Mathieu Fleury (City of Ottawa)

7. Steve Kanellakos (City of Ottawa)

8. Serge Arpin (City of Ottawa)

9. Jim Watson (City of Ottawa)

10. Diane Deans (City of Ottawa)

11. Patricia Ferguson (Ottawa Police Service)

12. Craig Abrams (Ontario Provincial Police – OPP)

13. Carson Pardy (OPP)

14. Pat Morris (OPP)

15. Steve Bell (Ottawa Police Service)

16. Russell Lucas (Ottawa Police Service)

17. Marcel Beaudin (OPP)

18. Robert Drummond (Ottawa Police Service)

19. Robert Bernier (Ottawa Police Service)

20. Thomas Carrique (OPP)

21. Peter Sloly

22. Brigitte Belton

23. James Bauder

24. Steeve Charland

25. Patrick King

26. Benjamin Dichter

27. Tom Marazzo

28. Chris Barber

29. Tamara Lich

30. Drew Dilkens (City of Windsor)

31. Dana Earley (Ontario Provincial Police)

32. Jason Crowley (Windsor Police Service)

33. Jim Willett (Village of Coutts)

34. Marco Van Huigenbos

35. Marlin Degrand (Alberta)

36. Mario Di Tommaso (Ontario)

37. Ian Freeman (Ontario)

38. Rob Stewart (Public Safety Canada)

39. Dominic Rochon (Public Safety Canada)

40. David Vigneault (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)

41. Michelle Tessier (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)

42. Marie-Hèlene Chayer (Integrated Threat Assessment Centre)

43. Deputy Commissioner Michael Duheme (RCMP)

44. Commissioner Brenda Lucki (RCMP)

45. Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki (RCMP)

46. John Ossowski (former, Canadian Border Services Agency)

47. Michael Keenan (Transport Canada)

48. Christian Dea (Transport Canada)

49. Michael Sabia (Department of Finance)

50. Rhys Mendes (Department of Finance)

51. Isabelle Jacques (Department of Finance)

52. Cindy Termorhuizen (Global Affairs Canada)

53. Joe Comartin (Global Affairs Canada)

54. Jody Thomas (Privy Council Office)

55. Jacquie Bogden (Privy Council Office)

56. Janice Charette (Privy Council Office)

57. Nathalie Drouin (Privy Council Office)

58. Minister Anita Anand (National Defence)

59. Minister Marco Mendicino (Public Safety)

60. Minister Bill Blair (Emergency Preparedness and President of the King’s Privy Council)

61. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

62. Minister Omar Alghabra (Transport Canada)

63. Minister David Lametti (Justice)

64. Minister Dominic LeBlanc (Intergovernmental Affairs)

65. Minister Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Finance)