Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been summoned to appear before the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), according to a letter from the Commission’s lawyers.
The premier has previously rejected several requests to be interviewed by the commission.
According to Global News, in a letter to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Commission said Ford and former Solicitor General Sylvia Jones were asked on several occasions to testify or be interviewed. However, both Ford and Jones repeatedly rejected the request.
“On September 19, 2022, Commission counsel requested an interview with [Ford and Jones]. This request was refused,” the letter from co-lead counsel Shantona Chaudry read.
“As of last week, the invitation to attend to testify before the Commission has been declined ‘for the moment.’”
As a result, the Commission has issued a summons to Ford and Jones pursuant to section 4 of the Inquiries Act, which forces them to testify under oath.
Last week, Ford said he supported the Trudeau government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to quash the peaceful Freedom Convoy.
“I stood shoulder to shoulder with the prime minister,” Ford said.
During the Freedom Convoy protest in February, the Ford government declared a state of emergency in an effort to put an end to protests in Ottawa and Windsor. At the time, Ford said the orders will “make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”
Ford routinely referred to the convoy as an “occupation” and even fired a staffer for donating to a fundraiser for the movement.
“Regarding Ottawa, the occupation. It’s not a protest anymore. It’s become an occupation,” Ford said.
“It’s only hurting families. It’s hurting businesses that these folks are supposed to be supporting, but it’s hurting businesses in a big way. People want to move on and to get through this. It’s time for this to come to an end. And we’re moving in the right direction.”
The POEC hearings are scheduled to run until November 25, with dozens more anticipated witnesses, including Freedom Convoy organizers, federal government officials, and eight cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Commissioner Paul Rouleau will provide a report to Parliament on his findings by Feb. 20.