Civil liberties group raising transparency concerns ahead of Emergencies Act inquiry

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Published October 12, 2022 at 3:28 pm

OTTAWA — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it fears the federal government will seek to keep some information from becoming public during an inquiry into the unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act.

Cara Zwibel, a lawyer with the group, says she has questions about what Ottawa is submitting as evidence and concerns about its level of transparency so far.

The Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, granting police extraordinary temporary powers to clear people out of downtown Ottawa and authorizing banks to freeze the accounts of some of those involved.

The decision came after nearly three weeks of “Freedom Convoy” protesters using trucks to clog downtown Ottawa streets and set up blockades at several border crossings.

Protesters, who raised millions of dollars through online crowdfunding sites, called for an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and, in some cases, an end to the Trudeau government.

The Emergencies Act requires that a public inquiry be called to examine the government’s decision-making any time it is invoked.

The Canadian Press

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