OTTAWA (Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022) — Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation welcomes Monday’s announcement that the Public Order Emergency Commission headed by Justice Paul Rouleau will hold hearings in September and October on the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act last February.
The Act was invoked in response to the blockading of various border crossings across Canada and the occupation of downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks by several hundred truckers and others opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health measures.
The Rouleau Commission hearings, though more narrowly focused on the federal government’s decision to implement emergency measures at the height of the occupation on Feb. 14, will coincide with Ottawa People’s Commission hearings also planned for this fall.
The People’s Commission will give voice to hundreds of local residents, business owners, downtown workers, social service personnel and others affected by the prolonged occupation of the core of the national capital, and will also hear from those involved in the illegal blockade.
“This traumatic moment in Ottawa’s history deserves comprehensive examination from as many angles as possible,” said OPC steering committee co-chair Ken Rubin. “While the Rouleau Commission is rightly scrutinizing the use of the Emergencies Act, the People’s Commission is more focused on healing and justice and creating opportunities for local residents to share their experiences and viewpoints about the deeply troubling occupation and its aftermath.”
Through community consultations and public hearings that will start in September and continue through to December, the People’s Commission will gather testimony and written submissions, aiming to release recommendations ahead of the one-year anniversary of the start of the occupation in late January 2023.
The Ottawa People’s Commission is a grassroots initiative aimed at responding — in a democratic, inclusive and constructive way — to the traumatizing occupation the city endured in January and February 2022.
The OPC is funded by donations from the public, foundations, businesses, unions and local agencies committed to rebuild and renew our community. Donations to support the work of the commission can be made through the commission’s website at opc-cpo.ca.
For more information about the Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation, visit opc-cpo.ca or reach Randy Boswell, OPCCO communications coordinator, via [email protected] or 613-868-8447; or Tim McSorley, French-language media contact, via [email protected] or 613-608-9917.