OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), headed by Liberal-friendly Justice Paul Rouleau, has ruled in its much-anticipated report that Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau’s federal government was justified in its use of the Emergencies Act (EA) to crush the Freedom Convoy last year.
In the report, which was presented to parliament Friday, Rouleau wrote:
I have concluded that [Trudeau’s] Cabinet was reasonably concerned that the situation it was facing was worsening and at risk of becoming dangerous and unmanageable. There was credible and compelling evidence supporting both a subjective and objective reasonable belief in the existence of a public order emergency.
The decision to invoke the Act was appropriate.
Rouleau did admit, however, that he came to the conclusion “with reluctance,” and that the “state should generally be able to respond to circumstances of urgency without the use of emergency powers.”
He also stated that “while most of the measures” put in place by the EA “were appropriate,” others “fell short.”
Shockingly, one of the measures Rouleau supported was the unprecedented and controversial “asset-freezing regime,” in which people who financially supported or were involved with the Freedom Convoy had their banks accounts frozen without a court order.
“I am satisfied that it played a meaningful role in shrinking the footprint of the protests, and in doing so, made a meaningful contribution to resolving the Public Order Emergency” Rouleau stated.
One move taken by the Trudeau government’s “freezing regime” that Rouleau did condemn was the “suspension of vehicle insurance.” His reasoning was linked to police testimony that explained it “would be dangerous to suspend the insurance on those vehicles, as it would mean that either the protestors would have to leave without their vehicles, or they would have to drive away in uninsured vehicles.”
While Rouleau’s recommendations for the report are just suggestions, and the POEC has no power or authority to call for action to be taken, the apparent vindication of the Trudeau government does mean that his minority government will likely stay in power until 2025 through its informal coalition with New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh.
The POEC was tasked last fall with determining whether the Trudeau government was justified in using the EA to crush the Freedom Convoy.
It conducted a thorough monthlong public hearing that called forth dozens of witnesses, including Trudeau, many of his cabinet ministers, as well as Freedom Convoy leaders such as Tamara Lich, who was jailed for weeks.
The Freedom Convoy gathered in Ottawa in January and February of 2022 to call for an end to all COVID mandates, which resulted in some provincial governments such as Alberta and Saskatchewan ultimately dropping the vaccine passport programs they had in place.
The hearings into Trudeau’s unprecedented use of the EA to crush the Freedom Convoy began on October 13 and concluded on November 25.
After the public hearings, the POEC had a weeks-long public policy phase this week to recommend potential amendments to existing legislation related to the Freedom Convoy, a process that included roundtables of “experts.”
As for Trudeau, he admitted while testifying before the Commission that the Freedom Convoy was not violent, but he argued that enacting the EA was needed anyway.
He also denied calling “unvaccinated” Canadians names, despite referring to the vaccine-free as “misogynists” and “racists” on television the previous year.
While Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23, 2022, the unprecedented freezing of citizens’ bank accounts led to immense backlash by civil rights groups and the public alike.
At the time, seven of Canada’s 10 provinces opposed the use of the EA by Trudeau.