Trudeau and seven federal ministers will testify at the Commission on the state of emergency

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Trudeau and seven federal ministers will testify at the Commission on the state of emergency

The federal government invoked the Emergencies Act last February to end protests that had paralyzed downtown Ottawa for weeks.

In addition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seven federal cabinet ministers are on the list of witnesses called before the public inquiry into the unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act.

Leaders of the convoy of protesters that paralyzed downtown Ottawa last winter, including Pat King and Tamara Lich, are also expected before the State Commission emergency, whose hearings are scheduled to begin Thursday with opening remarks from Judge Paul Rouleau, who will act as commissioner. These hearings are expected to last six weeks.

In addition to elected officials and protesters, the star witness list also includes Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault and City of Ottawa Chief Executive Officer Steve Kanellakos.

Ex-Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, who resigned during the siege, and his successor, Steve Bell, are also set to testify.

< p class="e-p">Details about the order and timing by which witnesses will be heard are expected to be released on Wednesday. The commission hopes to be able to move forward at a rate of six witnesses per hearing day.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

The list of ministers expected to parade before the commissioner includes Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Minister of National Defense Anita Anand, Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino, Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, Minister of Justice David Lametti, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and Emergency Measures Minister Bill Blair.

The federal Liberal government invoked the emergency measures on February 14, granting temporary extraordinary powers to police forces to evict protesters and move heavy trucks that were paralyzing downtown Ottawa. The law also allowed banks to freeze the accounts of certain protesters.

The Emergencies Act requires a public inquiry to be held in order to ;analyze the government's decision-making process whenever it is invoked.

The commission is to provide a final report with its findings and recommendations to the federal government no later than 20 next February.

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