Judge says Trudeau to blame for lawlessness
In his final report on the Public Order Emergency Commission, Judge Rouleau blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for being inadequately prepared, but said he was justified to invoke the Emergencies Act anyway.

Keean Bexte

February 17, 2023

In his final report on the Public Order Emergency Commission, Judge Rouleau blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for being inadequately prepared, but said he was justified to invoke the Emergencies Act anyway.

Judge says Trudeau to blame for lawlessness

The Commission, led by Judge Rouleau, investigated whether the Freedom Convoy protest met the threshold to invoke the Emergencies Act (EA). 

Rouleau determined that the threshold for Trudeau to invoke the EA was met. However, he also said it could have been avoided.

“Had there been greater collaboration at the political level from the start, it could
well have assisted in ironing out the communication, jurisdictional, and resourcing
issues that plagued the early response to the protests,” he also said.

Rouleau said Trudeau’s comments wherein he called protestors “unacceptable” and a “small, fringe minority” didn’t help.

“More of an effort should have been made by government leaders at all levels during the protests to acknowledge that the majority of protesters were exercising their fundamental democratic rights,” he said.

Rouleau also threw Ontario Premier Doug Ford under the bus.

“I find the Province of Ontario’s reluctance to become fully engaged in such efforts
directed at resolving the situation in Ottawa troubling.”

“Unfortunately, Ontario’s premier and solicitor general exercised Parliamentary
privilege to resist the summonses that I issued to them. The Commission would have
greatly benefited from the perspective that their testimony could have provided,” Rouleau said.

Rouleau further laid blame on RCMP Commissioner Lucki for not telling Trudeau that not all resources had been exhausted, as her notes indicated she believed. Lucki did not tell Trudeau this information during a meeting with him the day before he invoked the Act.

“I accept that it would have been preferable for Commissioner Lucki to provide
a further update on February 13, but I am not prepared to find that it would have
made a difference.”

Yet Rouleau’s comments on police failing make Lucki the perfect scapegoat for Trudeau, given she “retired” on Wednesday.

“It is regrettable that [the Emergencies Act was invoked], because in my view, it could have
been avoided,” Rouleau said in his concluding remarks.

“As I have explained in this Report, the response to the Freedom Convoy involved a series of policing failures.”

The CSIS definition of national emergency was not met according to official records, but CSIS director David Vigneault said that he told Trudeau he supported the use of the act. 

Trudeau and his cabinet had said that they invoked the Emergencies Act on the advice of law enforcement.

Yet an internal memo from the Ontario Provincial Police described the Freedom Convoy as “calm, festive and family oriented” the same day the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, granting themselves special power to forcefully remove demonstrators.

“The mood today was again calm, festive and family oriented,” the Feb. 14 Operational Intelligence Report memo reads.

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