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February 17, 2023

Public Order Emergency Commission Releases Report

February 17, 2023 (Ottawa) – After examining more than 85,000 documents, interviewing 139 individuals, receiving testimony from 76 witnesses and hearing from 50 experts, the Public Order Emergency Commission released its report today, fewer than 300 days after the Commission was created.

The Commission was established on April 25, 2022, as a result of the Government of Canada’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to protests in Ottawa and elsewhere in Canada in January and February of 2022.

The Commission was directed to examine and report on the circumstances that led to the declaration of a public order emergency, and the measures taken by the government for dealing with the emergency.

The Commission, led by the Honourable Paul S. Rouleau of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, produced a thorough and comprehensive report of over 2,000 pages within the timeframe required by the statute.

“After careful reflection, I have concluded that the very high threshold required for the invocation of the Act was met,” said Commissioner Rouleau in a public statement following the tabling of the Final Report in Parliament. “When the decision was made to invoke the Act on February 14, 2022, Cabinet had reasonable grounds to believe that there existed a national emergency arising from threats to the security of Canada that necessitated the taking of special temporary measures.”

In its report, the Commission made 56 recommendations in six broad areas:

  • Policing;
  • Federal intelligence collection and coordination;
  • Critical trade corridors and infrastructure;
  • Reforms to the Emergencies Act;
  • Other areas for further study; and
  • Follow-up and accountability following the release of the Commission’s report.

“I hope that these recommendations will go some way to addressing the various issues and deficiencies of a systemic nature that I identify in my report,” said Commissioner Rouleau.

During public hearings held in the Fall, the Commission heard from organizers of the convoy, citizens affected by the protests, police, public servants, and elected officials at the municipal and federal levels, including the Prime Minister and seven federal cabinet ministers.

The report can be downloaded from the Commission’s website.

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

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POEC in numbers

  • Number of days between the date the Commission was established and the statutory deadline for tabling 300
  • Number of Commission Counsel 23
  • Number of Senior Policy Advisors 5

  • Number of parties granted standing 23

  • Number of individuals interviewed 139

  • Number of days of fact hearings 31

  • Average length of hearing days 9 hrs. and 14 mins.

  • Longest hearing day 11 hrs. 20 mins.

  • Number of documents received by the Commission* 85,000

  • Number of documents made available to the parties* 28,000

  • Number of documents marked as exhibits* 8,900

  • Number of overview reports prepared by Commission Counsel 8

  • Number of witnesses who testified during factual hearings 76

  • Number of institutional reports prepared by parties and witnesses 34

  • Number of Counsel and legal representatives for the parties and witnesses 77

  • Number of submissions and emails sent in by the public* 8,800

  • Number of experts who served on the research council 7

  • Number of commissioned papers 17

  • Number of days of policy hearings 5

  • Number of policy roundtable expert presenters 50

  • Number of hours of webcasting 319

  • Number of hours of sign language interpretation and simultaneous translation* 265

  • Number of pages of transcripts 10,312

  • Number of members of the media accredited for the hearings 312

  • Number of articles and posts featuring the Commission during public hearings* 99,000

  • Number of written decisions by the Commissioner 16

  • Number of pages in the English version of the Commission’s Report 2,085

* Indicates approximate numbers.