OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — The legal counsel for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has said the force did not think the Emergencies Act (EA) was needed to clear out the “Freedom Convoy” protesters.
In a statement made last Thursday during the opening day of the public inquiry into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government’s use of the EA, OPP lawyer Christopher Diana noted that the force has “significant experience in responding to protests, blockades, and similar activities” that made the invocation of the EA unnecessary.
Diana added that while the EA and “in particular the provincial legislation — provided useful tools,” there “was sufficient legal authority in their absence to deal with the protest activities that took place over this period of time.”
In addition to the OPP, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as other civil liberty groups, also testified during opening remarks at the inquiry that the unprecedented enactment of the EA was not required.
“It is important for the Government of Alberta to share with Canadians the facts as to how Alberta was able to handle the international border blockades prior to the invocation of the federal Emergencies Act,” said Alberta attorney Mandy England.
“Existing law enforcement tools that were already in place were completely sufficient and they were successfully used,” she added.
On February 28, while Trudeau’s government was experiencing immense backlash for its use of the EA, Liberal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino stated that the EA was only used on the “advice of law enforcement members.”
However, as noted by LifeSiteNews, in addition to the OPP, both the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the local Ottawa Police Service have denied Mendicino’s claim that law enforcement asked the Trudeau government to invoke the act.
The inquiry, which is being ran by the Public Order Emergency Commission and headed by Paul Rouleau, a former judge with ties to Trudeau’s Liberal Party, began last Thursday and is expected to run until November 25.
While Trudeau ultimately revoked the EA on February 23 after just two days, under the EA, many Canadians who supported the Freedom Convoy were targeted by the federal government and even had their bank accounts frozen without a court order.
The hearings, which are open to the public via livestream, are set to call forth at least 65 witnesses, including Trudeau.