Group doubts Commission's transparency on state of emergency

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A group doubts the transparency of the Commission on the state of emergency

Cara Zwibel is the lawyer representing the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it is concerned that the federal government is trying to hide information so that& #x27;they are not revealed during the public inquiry into the unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act.

Lawyer Cara Zwibel, who represents this association, says she has questions about the documents that Ottawa has submitted in evidence and feels concerned about the degree of transparency demonstrated so far. .

It's not that we don't recognize that there is a sphere of activity that the government may legitimately want to protect, the lawyer explained at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that however, the government is required to provide an explanation to Parliament to justify the use of the Emergencies Act.

If the government provides an explanation but indicates that x27; it's partial because some information can't be released publicly, so I think that's going to be a problem, it's going to be a lack of candor with Parliament and the Canadian people, Zwibel argued.

“I think we'll have questions about how open the government is and whether the evidence allows for the kind of transparency we think is needed.

— Cara Zwibel, Lawyer for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association currently has access to a database that includes evidence that will be presented during the Emergency Commission hearings, but Mr. Zwibel cannot. say whether it is exhaustive. We only know what is there, but we don't know what may be missing, she summed up, indicating that she does not know the requests that have been made by the commissioners. /p>

The Association is of the opinion that the use of the Emergencies Act was not justified from a point of view. legal view, but what's done is done, let Me Zwibel down.

The outcome of the public inquiry will not be able to change the use of the Emergencies Act, but it can certainly lead to some improvements to the law and its accountability mechanism, in addition to influencing Canadians as to their perception of the Liberal government, including the next election, summarized Mr. Zwibel.

The federal Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act on February 14, giving police temporary extraordinary powers to evict protesters paralyzing downtown Ottawa and authorizing the banks to freeze the accounts of those involved.

This decision was taken when the so-called freedom convoy had established a real headquarters in downtown D' Ottawa using heavy trucks. Other groups had also set up roadblocks near various border crossings.

The protesters, who had raised millions of dollars through crowdfunding platforms, were demanding an end to mandatory vaccinations and, in some cases, the departure of the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.

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The Emergencies Act requires a public inquiry to analyze government decision-making whenever it is invoked.

In addition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seven federal ministers are on the list of witnesses who will be called by the commissioners. Leaders of the convoy of protesters that paralyzed downtown Ottawa last winter, including Pat King and Tamara Lich, are also expected to appear before the commission.

Presided over by Ontario judge Paul Rouleau, the hearings will begin on Thursday. The report must be submitted no later than February 2023.

With information from La Presse canadienne

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