Ontario government missing in Ottawa ‘freedom convoy’, inquest finds

A senior federal official says it has never been clear whether the Ontario government was ready to come to Ottawa’s aid during the demonstrations that blocked the capital last winter.

Rob Stewart, who was Deputy Minister of Public Safety at the time, is the first federal official to testify at the inquiry into the Liberal government’s historic decision to invoke the Emergencies Act last winter .

He says Ontario treated Ottawa like Washington, DC, and left it to the city and the federal government to work together to deal with the protests that have paralyzed the city and the parliamentary precinct.

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Senior officials testify at Emergencies Act inquiry

Stewart says the OPP seized the opportunity, but the provincial government was more engaged in the border blockade in Windsor, Ont., because of the economic impact.

The Public Order Emergency Commission, which is holding hearings in Ottawa until Nov. 25, is tasked with determining whether the government was justified in triggering the legislation.

This week, the commission is expected to hear from key witnesses, including RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and Jody Thomas, who is Trudeau’s national security adviser.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Carol N. Valencia