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Commission says Justin Trudeau’s government was “justified” in freezing protesters’ bank accounts

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The Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) inquiry into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoking the Emergencies Act to stop the Freedom Convoy protests concluded that invoking the law was “unnecessary,” but “justified” the Prime Minister’s actions nonetheless.

We obtained a copy of the overview report here.

Reading the POEC inquiry report, Commissioner Paul Rouleau said invoking the Emergencies Act was a “significant event.” He noted that dozens of experts, protest organizers, witnesses, cabinet ministers, and even Trudeau himself testified during the inquiry. Cabinet privilege was lifted to disclose 28,000 documents, 9,000 of them entering into evidence.

Rouleau said that the protests happened because of people’s “loss of faith in government” and the “economic hardships” caused by the government’s COVID-19 response.

The report states that invoking the Emergencies Act was “appropriate” and “effective” since the federal government had “reasonable grounds” to take “special temporary measures” because of “threats to national security.”

However, Rouleau said that other “reasonable and informed people” might think otherwise because the act is a “tool of last resort,” not “a tool of convenience.” He said that the use of the act is “regrettable” and criticized the government for not preparing for the protests in a way that invoking the act would have been avoided.

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