THE Conservative Party said on Monday that it was disturbed to see the Liberal government attempting to control the scope of the public inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act in order to deflect accountability for their actions.
Raquel Dancho, Critic for Public Safety, Dane Lloyd, Critic for Emergency Preparedness, and Gérard Deltell, Critic for Innovation, Science and Industry, said in a statement: “The Emergencies Act is clear that the inquiry must investigate the circumstances leading up to, and the measures used in, the Emergencies Act to ensure the extraordinarily high threshold needed to invoke the Act was met. Instead, the Liberal government is directing the inquiry to focus on the actions and motivations of protesters, not those of the government, as is intended in the Act.
“Conservatives believe the Commissioner should be given the power to compel the production of important documents and evidence including those covered under Cabinet confidence and the opinion provided to the government by the Justice Department. The Liberal government is doing everything in their power to ensure this inquiry is unsubstantial and fails to hold them accountable.
“This inquiry is critically important given the precedent invocation of the Act sets and the impact on Canadian Charter rights.
“Canadians deserve clarity and transparency, which is why the Liberal government must stop hiding behind legal tools and waive Cabinet confidence. Conservatives will hold this Liberal government accountable and uncover the answers that Canadians desperately want and deserve.”
ABBY Deshman, Director of the Criminal Justice program for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said that Monday’s comments from the federal government setting out their vision for the Emergencies Act inquiry fell short.
He added: “The government’s remarks demonstrate that they are hoping for an inquiry that will look primarily at the actions of the protesters. But the requirement to call an inquiry was put into the Emergencies Act to ensure a robust examination of the government’s use of emergency powers. The broader context is important, but the government’s attempts to divert attention from their own actions is concerning.
“The Prime Minister and his ministers’ remarks missed the point – government accountability – making it even more clear why our lawsuit must continue. The government has already said they intend to bring motions to try to end the case without a ruling on the merits. We will be fighting these motions in court and plan on proceeding with our litigation.”