A last minute unredacted document discovered on Friday contradicts the tow trucks justification that PM Justin Trudeau gave immediately after invoking the Emergencies Act.
On Friday morning, the court released a last minute unredacted line in a government document, and Lawyer Rob Kittredge picked up on it just hours before he got to question Trudeau.
“Could you identify what information was blacked out by your government?” Kittredge asked.
“Um, Americans offering tow trucks?” replied Trudeau.
Kittredge noted that government lawyers had tried to keep that specific line blacked out. He asked Trudeau to read out loud the reason that was provided for the redaction. Trudeau noted it said “irrelevance.”
“Wouldn’t you say that the discussion of tow trucks was relevant to the discussion we’re having here, today?” he asked Trudeau.
Trudeau said that he didn’t have anything to do with redactions and told Kittredge he’d have to check with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).
“Yeah, I think we will,” Kittredge replied.
Kittredge was representing the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). He noted that Trudeau had claimed that the EA allowed him to “compel” tow-truck drivers who weren’t complying with the government’s request for assistance.
Trudeau admitted that the tow truck procurement was “an element of the solution,” but he said it wasn’t the only one. He said “the situation as a whole could not be resolved under existing authorities.”
Kittredge said that “I would put it to you that tow trucks weren’t in fact, required, and that the power to compel tow trucks was not used for anything but convenience, and that tow trucks had been secured at all important locations prior to the invocation of the Emergencies Act.”
Lawyers challenging Trudeau complained a few times about the government dumping hundreds of additional documents on a regular basis throughout the 31 days’ worth of testimonies.
Lawyers also said that there were an excessive number of redactions.
On Monday, the Policy Phase began for the EA inquiry.
“This last and important chapter of the public hearings will call on nearly 50 experts from various fields whose input, in my opinion, is important to the development of relevant recommendations for improvements to existing legislation,” said Judge Rouleau, who’s serving as Commissioner.
“The Inquiry must table its final report in the House of Commons and Senate of Canada, with findings and recommendations, by February 20, 2023,” reads the Commission’s website.