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In his own words: Justice Paul Rouleau's conclusion about the 'Freedom Convoy'

BY The Canadian Press, Feb 17, 2023 10:42 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

He said that is regrettable that such a situation arose because in his view, it could have been avoided (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Justice Paul Rouleau, the head of the public inquiry that examined the federal Liberal government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in February 2022, concluded in his final report the choice was justified.

Here is what he wrote: "It is regrettable that such a situation arose here, because in my view, it could have been avoided. As I have explained in this report, the response to the 'Freedom Convoy' involved a series of policing failures. Some of the missteps may have been small, but others were significant, and taken together, they contributed to a situation that spun out of control. Lawful protest descended into lawlessness, culminating in a national emergency.

"The failures were not only in policing. The events of January and February 2022 can also be seen as a failure of federalism. In Canada, our federal system of government enriches democracy by striving to maintain national unity while supporting regional diversity. But fulfilling these promises depends on co-operation and collaboration.

"Responding to situations of threat and urgency in a federal system requires governments at all levels, and those who lead them, to rise above politics and collaborate for the common good. Unfortunately, in January and February 2022, this did not always happen.

"The 'Freedom Convoy' was a singular moment in history, in which simmering social, political, and economic grievances were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, shaped by a complex online landscape rife with misinformation and disinformation, and unleashed in a torrent of political protest and social unrest.

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