Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson expected to testify at Emergencies Act inquiry

An inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act during February’s “Freedom Convoy” protest continues Tuesday with the anticipated appearance of Ottawa’s mayor.

Outgoing mayor Jim Watson is expected to give long-awaited testimony on municipal efforts to handle the three-week demonstration, after his chief of staff and Ottawa’s city manager appeared Monday.

Read more: Ottawa police, City Hall knew convoy protests would dig in: documents

Testimony is then expected from outgoing councillor Diane Deans, who chaired the local police services board during the crisis and was ousted from the role just after the federal emergency was declared.

High-ranking officers from the Ottawa Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police are also slated to speak at the public inquiry this week.

Story continues below advertisement

The commission is examining the circumstances that led to the emergency declaration Feb. 14 and the measures taken to deal with the protest, which saw the occupation of an area of downtown Ottawa next to Parliament Hill.

Click to play video: 'Emergencies Act Inquiry: City of Ottawa manager discusses difficulty of towing heavy trucks'

Emergencies Act Inquiry: City of Ottawa manager discusses difficulty of towing heavy trucks

Watson’s testimony comes days before Ottawa’s municipal election next Monday, in which neither he nor Deans is running for re-election.

The hearings are expected to run six weeks and include testimony from 65 witnesses, including government officials, police officers and convoy organizers.

Here are all the next six witnesses on the list, all of whom are expected to appear before the commission this week:

  • Mayor Jim Watson, the city’s longest-serving mayor. Watson isn’t seeking another term in a municipal election next week.
  • Coun. Diane Deans, the former chair of Ottawa’s police services board. Deans, who isn’t running for re-election, was a vocal opponent of the convoy protest and clashed with Watson over how to deal with it. She was ousted from the police services board by councillors two days after the feds declared an emergency.
  • Patricia Ferguson, acting deputy Ottawa police chief, who was the operational lead throughout the protest.
  • Three officials from the Ontario Provincial Police: Craig Abrams, Carson Pardy and Pat Morris.

&© 2022 The Canadian Press

View original article here Source