Canada’s Trudeau Announces Panel to Investigate Invoking of Emergencies Act

Canada's Trudeau Announces Panel to Investigate Invoking of Emergencies Act Canada's Trudeau Announces Panel to Investigate Invoking of Emergencies Act

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Benoit Doppagne/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 26 April 2022 09:23 PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced that a Public Order Emergency Commission would be established to investigate the circumstances that led to the invoking of the Emergencies Act to quell truckers' protests of COVID-19 mandates.

On Feb. 14, according to Jurist, "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on Monday to give the federal government additional powers to quell the 'Freedom Convoy' protests that has now entered the third week with no end in sight, but Trudeau explicitly ruled out a military response."

Trudeau tweeted the following on Monday: "To look into the circumstances that led to the Emergencies Act being invoked earlier this year, and to examine the measures taken in response, we're establishing an independent public inquiry – and appointing Justice Rouleau as Commissioner."

While it is not immediately clear who or what the commission will investigate, according to the Canadian Broadcast Corp., and conservative politicians and civil libertarians believe the investigation will be a whitewashing.

On Monday, a joint statement from Conservative MPs Raquel Dancho, Dane Lloyd and Gérard Deltell read that the Canadian "liberal government is doing everything in their power to ensure this inquiry is unsubstantial and fails to hold them accountable."

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which is suing the Canadian government after invoking the act, says the commission does not appear to be focused on government accountability.

"The broader context is important, but the government's attempts to divert attention from their own actions is concerning," CCLA tweeted.

As Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, pointed out in a Toronto Star report, the government's decision to appoint its own commissioner rather than allowing opposition parties to weigh in "taints the inquiry."

"The fact that the Trudeau cabinet alone chose the inquiry commissioner means the inquiry is not independent from the cabinet, and taints the inquiry as partisan," Conacher said.