Emergencies Act investigation: Mayor of Ottawa and police testify

Ottawa City Manager Steve Kanellakos said the city only expected the “Freedom Convoy” protesters to stay for a short time when they arrived in late January, based on information that she received from the Ottawa police.

The inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act is today hearing protest testimony from a number of senior Ottawa officials, starting with Kanellakos.

The commission examines the circumstances that led to the declaration of emergency and the measures taken to deal with them.

Kanellakos says the city’s role was to support Ottawa police throughout the protests.

He said the city could not independently decide to close certain streets leading to and during the convoy because police were leading the response.

The federal Liberal government declared an emergency under the law on Feb. 14, granting extraordinary temporary powers to police after nearly three weeks of protests that brought downtown to a standstill.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 17, 2022.