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June 1, 2022

Commission calls for applications for standing, seeks cooperation to meet tight timeline

June 1, 2022 (Ottawa) The Public Order Emergency Commission has issued a Notice outlining how it intends to go about its work and has called on interested parties to submit applications for standing and any related funding to the Commission by June 15. The Commission has posted Rules of Standing and Funding, along with an application form to seek standing on its website, which it launched today.

The Commission was established by the Governor in Council on April 25, 2022, to conduct an independent public inquiry as required by the Emergencies Act following the declaration of a public order emergency by the Government of Canada on February 14, 2022.

The Commission is calling for cooperation and flexibility from all Parties in order to meet the challenge of the tight timeline it faces in completing its work under the strict timeframes specified under the Emergencies Act. The Commission’s final Report, with findings and recommendations, must be submitted to the Governor in Council by February 6, 2023 and laid before Parliament by February 20, 2023. This means that the Commission will have to complete its hearings and fact-finding process by the end of October 2022.

The Commission will examine and assess the basis for the Government of Canada’s decision to declare a public order emergency, the circumstances that led to the declaration, and the appropriateness and effectiveness of the measures selected by the Government to deal with the then-existing situation. It will begin its investigation by asking the Government for an explanation of the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.

The Commission has already begun the process of requesting and gathering documents from the Government. The Commission has asked the Government to disclose to the Commissioner the information that led to Cabinet’s decision to declare an emergency.

The Commission will also investigate the issues listed in paragraphs (ii) A-E of its Terms of Reference, as well as additional issues that may come to light and are relevant to its overarching mandate.

The Honourable Paul Rouleau, who heads up the Commission, has indicated that the Commission intends to hold public hearings in September and October. The Commission will also engage academics and others with relevant expertise to prepare research and policy papers on some of the key issues arising from the Commission’s mandate. These will be available for public comment, and will be discussed at a series of meetings or roundtables which the public will be able to observe.

Members of the public will also be given an opportunity to share their experiences and provide their views to the Commission in a variety of ways, such as through online submissions. Further details on the opportunities for participating in the Commission's work and the ways to do so will be published on the Commission's website in the near future.

The Commission is in the process of hiring its team of counsel and other staff. Names and biographical information will be posted on the Commission’s website as appointments are finalized.

The Commission is not aware of any Canadian precedent for a public inquiry of this breadth being conducted over this short a period of time. The Commission acknowledges this challenge. It is important and in the public interest that the Commission fulfill its mandate in a comprehensive, fair and transparent manner. The Commission welcomes ongoing input as to how to achieve its ambitious mandate.

The Commission is committed to developing a transparent, inclusive and fair process consistent with the tight timeline imposed by the Act.

Contact:

Michael Tansey
Sr. Communications Advisor
(613) 487-3765 home office
(613) 851-4587 mobile

michael@tancom.ca

www.PublicOrderEmergencyCommission.ca