Police take a person into custody as they worked to clear an area on Rideau Street, during a convoy-style protest participants are calling "Rolling Thunder," in Ottawa, on Friday, April 29, 2022. The public inquiry into the federal government's unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act during what organizers called "Freedom Convoy" protests last winter begins on Thursday and 65 witnesses, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and high profile convoy organizers, are expected to testify. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Several federal cabinet members expected to testify at ‘Freedom Convoy’ hearings

Eight federal cabinet members, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are among those slated to testify at the public inquiry into the government’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act.

High-profile members of the convoy that blocked Ottawa streets last winter, including Pat King and Tamara Lich, are also expected to appear during the six weeks of hearings that begin Thursday.

Also on the list of anticipated witnesses are the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the national security adviser and several City of Ottawa officials.

The Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, granting police extraordinary temporary powers to clear people and large trucks out of downtown Ottawa, and allowing banks to freeze the accounts of some of those involved.

The Emergencies Act requires a public inquiry be called to examine the government’s decision-making any time it is invoked.

The commission must provide a final report with findings and recommendations to the federal government by Feb. 20.

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