OTTAWA — An inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act is hearing first-hand testimony about the effect of last winter’s “Freedom Convoy” protest.
Hearings are expected to run six weeks, with testimony from 65 witnesses representing all levels of government, various police agencies and organizers of the convoy.
The six witnesses appearing next on the commission’s hearing list:
– Ottawa city manager Steve Kanellakos, who helped lead the city’s response to the protests and met with organizers in secret negotiations to end the “Freedom Convoy.”
– Serge Arpin,the long-time chief of staff to outgoing Mayor Jim Watson.
– Mayor Jim Watson, the city’s longest serving mayor. Watson isn’t seeking re-election.
– Coun. Diane Deans, the former chair of the police services board. The councillor, who isn’t seeking re-election, was a vocal opponent of the convoy protest and clashed with Watson over how to deal with it. She was ousted from the police services board by councillors during the “Freedom Convoy.”
– Patricia Ferguson,acting deputy Ottawa police Chief, was the operational lead throughout the protest.
– Ontario Provincial Police member Craig Abrams.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 17, 2022.
David Fraser, The Canadian Press