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Liberals say they will waive cabinet confidence and release documents for Emergencies Act evidence

Liberals waive cabinet confidence for Emergencies Act evidence

The documents the Trudeau government used to support its use of the Emergencies Act will now be made available to the Public Order Emergency Commission on Tuesday, despite having claimed for weeks that they were shielded by cabinet confidence.

This is the fourth time since Confederation that a public inquiry has had access to cabinet secrets, according a press statement on the commission’s website.

“This exceptional step recognizes the fundamental importance of the Commission’s work and how critical these documents are in inquiring into why the Government declared a public order emergency,” said Commission counsel co-lead Shantona Chaudhury and Jeffrey Leon.

“On behalf of Commissioner (Paul) Rouleau, we took the position that Cabinet documents must be released to facilitate the Commission’s examination and assessment of the basis for the Government’s decision to declare the emergency and fulfil the Commission’s mandate.”

The documents, which will be provided to the committee as evidence, are anticipated to be made available to the inquiry soon by the Trudeau government.

“It is in the public interest that this Public Inquiry be fully informed of the circumstances that led to Cabinet’s decision to declare the emergency and adopt the measures,” said Chaudry and Leon.

“We appreciate that the Government has acknowledged this and cooperated by making this voluntary disclosure. This is an important step in moving the Commission’s work forward.” 

Despite claiming that the commission would be as transparent as possible, in May, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a interview with CTV he wouldn’t agree to release confidential cabinet documents.

“We will be there to work with Judge Rouleau to ensure that there is transparency and most importantly, to be sure that he has the information that he needs to validate and to review very, you know, with great scrutiny,” said Mendicino at the time. 

The Conservatives released a statement accusing the Liberals of running a mock of the whole trial “The Liberal government is doing everything in their power to ensure this inquiry is unsubstantial and fails to hold them accountable.” wrote the Conservative Party.

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