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Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson expected to testify about ‘Freedom Convoy’ at public inquiry

OTTAWA — The inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act during February’s “Freedom Convoy” protest continues today with the anticipated appearance of Ottawa’s mayor.

Outgoing mayor Jim Watson is expected to give long-awaited testimony on municipal efforts to handle the three-week demonstration, after his chief of staff and Ottawa’s city manager appeared yesterday.

Testimony is then expected from outgoing councillor Diane Deans, who chaired the local police services board during the crisis and was ousted from the role just after the federal emergency was declared.

High-ranking officers from the Ottawa Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police are also slated to speak at the public inquiry this week. 

The commission is examining the circumstances that led to the emergency declaration Feb. 14 and the measures taken to deal with the protest, which saw the occupation of an area of downtown Ottawa next to Parliament Hill.

Watson’s testimony comes days before Ottawa’s municipal election next Monday, in which neither he nor Deans is running for re-election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press