By: Chile Eboe-Osuji
The Rouleau Commission of Inquiry
The Public Order Emergency Commission, chaired by Mr Justice Paul Rouleau, has finally released its report. The Commission’s report is lengthy. It comes in five volumes, totalling more than 2000 pages. Even the executive summary (volume 1) took up 272 pages.
The Commission was established to inquire into the legality of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s declaration of national emergency between 14 and 23 February 2022, and the measures taken in dealing with that emergency as declared.
For purposes of this commentary, it may help to recall in summary the factual circumstances that led to the declaration of emergency. For more than two weeks in February 2022, news of the world trained its sights on Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor and Detroit. Ottawa got the lion share of attention, as it is the seat of the federal government. Drivers of heavy lorries used their rigs to block the streets of downtown; constantly blaring their horns, revving their engines and making whatever noise they could use their vehicles to make. They meant to be an intolerable nuisance and it was bedlam in Ottawa. The resulting pollution was not only auricular (until a judge issued an injunction to stop the blaring of horns); there were also the exhaust fumes from the engines that ran all the time. Symbols of hate, such as swastikas and confederate flags, were also part of the paraphernalia on display at the protests. Read more.