Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to appear before a commission of inquiry soon to justify the use of the Emergency Measures Act to put an end to the major protest movement by truckers at the start of the year, said his office Tuesday.
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Very rarely used in peacetime, these powers were invoked in February after weeks of demonstrations which had paralyzed the federal capital Ottawa and blocked borders with the American neighbor.
The State of Emergency Commission, headed by a former judge, is due to begin six weeks of public hearings on the case on October 13.
The prime minister’s office told AFP that Trudeau expects to be asked to testify and that he “welcomes the opportunity.”
Justin Trudeau had defended the use of this law, saying that the authorities needed “more tools to restore order” after more than three weeks of “dangerous and illegal activities”.
His decision to invoke the Emergency Measures Act, which grants the government exceptional powers to deal with a major crisis, has been strongly criticized, in particular by the political opposition as well as by associations for the defense of human rights and freedom.
Initially minimized by the authorities, the protest movement started with truckers protesting against the obligation to be vaccinated to cross the border with the United States, then widened to a general refusal of public health rules in Canada .
The demonstrators had gone so far as to block a bridge between the Canadian city of Windsor and the American city of Detroit, paralyzing a trade route essential for industry, in particular car manufacturing.