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June 28, 2022

Government of Canada agrees to release Cabinet documents to the Public Order Emergency Commission

June 28, 2022 (Ottawa) – The Government of Canada has responded to a request from Commissioner Paul Rouleau and agreed not to claim Cabinet privilege over the documents that Cabinet considered in making the decision to declare a public order emergency and implement special measures for dealing with the emergency in February 2022.

“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 Co-Lead Commission Counsel Shantona Chaudhury and Jeffrey Leon. “On behalf of Commissioner 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 Government has committed to providing the Commission with all the inputs that were before Cabinet when it decided to declare the public order emergency.

Of the 371 federal Commissions of Inquiry called since Confederation, this is only the fourth time that a public inquiry has been given access to Cabinet confidences. “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 Ms. Chaudhury and Mr. 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.”

The Commission has not yet received Cabinet documents but anticipates that production will be made shortly.

The Public Order Emergency 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 Inquiry must submit its final report to the Government, with findings and recommendations, by February 6, 2023.


Michael Tansey
Sr. Communications Advisor
(343) 549-1086 mobile |

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