Justin Tang The Canadian Press Protesters opposing COVID-19 health measures take to the streets of downtown Ottawa on June February 2022
Justice Paul Rouleau will release on Friday his long-awaited report on the federal government's handling of Freedom Convoy last winter. After hearing police, protesters, civil servants and politicians in public hearings in the fall, the commissioner had until next Monday to table his report in parliament, according to the law. It will finally be done at noon.
The media will have access to copies of the document shortly before, under strict embargo conditions.
The Freedom Convoy was a broad protest movement against COVID-19 health measures that culminated in a three-week occupation of the streets of downtown Canada's capital. The cause also inspired the blocking of certain border crossings in the country.
To dislodge the many heavyweights that surrounded the Parliament Buildings, the federal government invoked the Federal Measures Act on February 14, 2022. emergency, a first since the latter was created more than 30 years ago. The police eventually ousted the protesters less than a week later. The real usefulness of this emergency law has been questioned by certain testimonies.
Several testimonies contradict each other before Judge Rouleau
The Emergency Measures Act provides in particular for the creation of a commission to assess whether the government has exceeded its powers. The Rouleau commission had 360 days after the end of the emergency measures to establish whether recourse to this law was justified. This deadline coincides with Monday, February 20, 2023, a statutory holiday in Ontario, during which the House of Commons and the Senate are not in session.
In addition to assessing the government's response, the report Rouleau must answer some fundamental questions as to the real nature of the Freedom Convoy. Threatening for some, democratic for others, the protest movement has been the object of many irreconcilable points of view within the political class and the population.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will react to the Commissioner Rouleau's conclusions on Friday afternoon.