June 15th, 2024

Cabinet didn’t get up-to-date police briefing during Emergencies Act deliberations

By The Canadian Press on November 15, 2022.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki makes her way to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, in Ottawa, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says she didn’t get to tell cabinet that Ottawa had a complete plan to remove the “Freedom Convoy” protest as ministers deliberated whether to invoke the Emergencies Act.

Lucki is testifying at the public inquiry into the federal government’s decision to invoke the act on Feb. 14, more than two weeks into protests against COVID-19 restrictions that gridlocked downtown Ottawa and inspired border blockades elsewhere.

The day before, Lucki had written up some key messages for cabinet ministers, which included her opinion that police had not yet exhausted all tools available to them under existing legislation.

She says she wasn’t able to deliver that message at the cabinet meeting, though, and didn’t brief the government about the plan to remove protesters.

In hindsight, she says she’s not sure it would have made a difference.

The plan was developed without the powers granted to police under the Emergencies Act, but Lucki says ultimately those extraordinary authorities proved useful.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

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