Ontario Premier Doug Ford dodged questions about his refusal to participate in the Emergencies Act inquiry on Wednesday, arguing the commission is a federal issue and not a provincial one.
While at Question Period, the premier chose to answer one question about his decision not to testify before bouncing all remaining inquiries to Government House Leader Paul Calandra.
“From day one…for Ontario this was a policing matter, not a political matter,” Ford said. “This is a federal inquiry into the federal government’s decision to use the federal Emergencies Act.”
His comment comes one day after the premier and former Solicitor General Sylvia Jones filed court documents to fight a summons to appear before the commission, which is examining the use of the Emergencies Act during the weeks-long occupation of Ottawa by protesters, as well as a blockade at U.S.-Canada borders.
The court documents claim the “summons are inconsistent with the members’ parliamentary privilege” and that their evidence is “not necessary to his commission.”
“It is Ontario’s view that these protests invited primarily a policing response and the police witnesses that are testifying can best provide the Commission with the evidence it needs,” an email from Ministry of the Attorney General lawyer Darrell Kloeze reads
Multiple questions by members of the opposition were directed at the premier on Wednesday morning, but only one was answered by Ford.
Calandra spoke in his stead, using the same talking points as a day earlier, pointing out that deputy ministers have been made available and that cabinet documents were provided to the commission.
NDP MPP Marit Stiles asked why the premier is hiding behind parliamentary privilege.
“That’s baloney and everyone here knows it,” she said.
Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden pointed out that other politicians, such as the mayor and prime minister, have testified at the commission and they are not police officers.
“Could someone please explain to the people of Ottawa Centre why these officials saw fit to answer the call to testify at the commission but this premier and the minister responsible, the former solicitor general, do not?”
Harden then offered to drive the premier to Ottawa if he changes his mind.
The Emergencies Act was invoked on Feb. 14 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an effort to end the “Freedom Convoy” protests in downtown Ottawa.
View original article here Source