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Emergency Act Probe: Mendicino won’t commit to sharing cabinet secrets

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the government was committed to complete transparency as an investigation into the use of the Emergencies Act to end “free convoy” protests was underway. But he will not commit to sharing secret cabinet documents about the decision.

In an interview on CTV’s Question Period that aired on Sunday, Mendicino said Ottawa is giving Justice Paul Rouleau, who is leading the investigation, “broad powers” to determine if triggering the Act legitimate or not.

“We have all been transparent and we are now fulfilling our obligations under the Emergencies Act by launching a full-scale public investigation, giving Justice Rouleau the powers to do so. widely to force witnesses, to force documents, to force information, including classified documents,” he said.

“Our desire is to work very cooperatively with him.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of an independent “Public Order Emergency Committee”, which will be conducted over a better period of the year.

Rouleau, a longtime judge, will have to present his final report, which includes key findings and “lessons learned” to both the House and Senate in both official languages, by April 20. February 2023. He is expected to weigh in on the “appropriateness and effectiveness” of the measures taken by the government in invoking the Emergencies Act.

It will include “the evolution of the convoy, the impact of funding and misinformation, the economic impact, and the efforts of police and other responders before and after the announcement,” with hopes to prevent similar events from happening again, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

As much of the discussion surrounding the convoy and the invocation of the Act was carried out behind closed doors at the cabinet table, the Liberals were facing pressure to give up cabinet secrecy, so Rouleau do not have comfortable access to necessary information.

Mendicino stood firm with the commissioner without committing to relinquish principles.

“We will be there to work with Judge Rouleau to make sure that there is transparency and most importantly, to make sure that he has information that he needs to validate and look at very closely, you know. there,” he said.

When asked about the government’s threshold to proceed with the Act, saying that all other laws are not enough to solve the problem, the minister said there are many factors.

“We have not looked at any of these events in isolation. We’re looking at the whole country and we’re looking at the fact that our corridors are closed. And while there is some progress, there are significant risks going forward, that those blockades could return,” he said.

“The advice we have received from our law enforcement officials is that the current authorities are ineffective – and the word is important because it is built into the test under the Emergency Act. level — ineffective in restoring public safety,” he said.

The Conservatives called the investigation a “whitewash”, taking issue with both the scope and depth of Rouleau’s mandate.

“The Liberal Government is doing everything in its power to ensure this investigation is unfounded and does not hold them accountable,” said a statement from a Conservative public safety critic. Raquel Dancho, emergency preparedness critic Dane Lloyd and industry critic Gerard Deltell.

With files from CTV News ‘Rachel Aiello

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