On Feb. 17, the Public Order Emergency Commission will table its report on the first-time use of the Emergencies Act by the Trudeau government last year in Parliament. Commissioner Paul Rouleau will read a statement, which will be broadcast live on the inquiry’s website, and will not be taking questions from the media or doing follow-up interviews. Journalists will be required to go into a lock-up to read an advanced copy of the report, and their electronic devices must be put on airplane mode and stored in lockers. The report will be under strict embargo until Rouleau starts reading his statement.
The date of the tabling of the report has been met with some controversy, with the Liberal cabinet originally requesting an advanced copy on Feb. 6 and giving a deadline of Feb. 20 for the tabling in Parliament. However, the commission was granted an extension in early February and the government removed the Feb. 6 deadline.
The inquiry heard during the hearings that security agencies did not assess the events to constitute a national security threat and that police officials did not believe invoking the act was necessary to deal with the situation. The government said it possesses the authority to determine what constitutes a national security emergency and doesn’t need to strictly follow the definitions set in the act.