Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to personally testify at the ongoing Public Order Emergency Commission over actions he took to quash the Freedom Convoy in February.
According to CTV News, Trudeau is among eight members of the Liberal cabinet who will be required to appear before Commissioner Paul Rouleau to justify the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act.
A list seen by the outlets includes a total of 60 witnesses including Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Others on the list include figureheads of the Freedom Convoy and law enforcement officials involved in the crackdown.
“The Commission has provided a preliminary list of witnesses to Parties that have standing,” said Commission spokesperson Michael Tansey.
The list is not final and was provided to Parties on a confidential basis.”
Canadians last saw a prime minister testify at a public inquiry in 2005 when former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin appeared before the Gomery Commission to testify on corruption charges against his government.
Internal polling by the federal government found that Canadians felt that the Liberal government’s use of the Act was an overreach.
“Though a small number of participants felt implementing the Emergencies Act was a necessary step given the disturbance caused by the seemingly indefinite nature of the protests, most felt this action represented significant ‘over-reach’ by the federal government as they interpreted this as limiting the right of these Canadians to peaceful protest,” wrote researchers.
“A significant number identified with the frustration expressed by the protesters regarding ongoing public health measures even if they disagreed with some of the methods.”
Polling shortly after the Act was revoked also showed that Canadians were disappointed with the federal government for not engaging with protestors before declaring the demonstrations illegal.
“Participants were generally dissatisfied with the response of the Government of Canada,” analysts wrote.
“It was thought the perceived lack of engagement by the federal government with the protesters only served to intensify these demonstrations.”