MPs grilled Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on Feb. 25 at a House committee hearing to examine the public order emergency declared by the government, with some focusing on whether the threshold had been met to call a national emergency, and others looking to find out why the Ottawa occupation lasted so long.
Addressing whether the threshold was met to invoke the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, Conservative MP and public safety critic Raquel Dancho asked Mendicino if “our safety was in jeopardy with the protests in Ottawa?”
“Well certainly the size, scope, and scale of the illegal blockades at a number of borders and ports of entry, as well as the illegal occupation in Ottawa, met the threshold under the Emergencies Act,” replied Mendicino as he testified before the House of Commons public safety committee.
Large-scale protests in Ottawa, dubbed the “Freedom Convoy,” along with Canada-U.S. border blockades had occurred across the country in recent weeks to demand the lifting of COVID-19 mandates and restrictions. Most of the blockades were cleared before the government invoked the act, and the one in Emerson, Manitoba, dispersed on its own on Feb. 16, so Dancho focused on the Ottawa protest.
“I walked to West Block for two weeks past these protests. If there was such a threat to public safety, how could you have allowed members of Parliament to walk by that protest every day?,” asked Dancho.
Families join the Freedom Convoy protest in downtown Ottawa after police distributed arrest notices to truckers and their supporters occupying Wellington St. and the Parliament Hill area on Feb. 16, 2022. (Richard Moore/The Epoch Times)
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