The RCMP told a parliamentary committee on May 10 that it did not advise on or request the invocation of the Emergencies Act in February, and was also not aware of any other policing body that did so.
Among the justifications cited by the Liberal government for invoking the emergency measures, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it had been done on the advice of law enforcement.
“We’re not in the position to provide influence on the government as to when and where they invoke a certain Act,” said RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki in her testimony before the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency.
The committee composed of senators and MPs is reviewing the Liberal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act to deal with cross-country protests and blockades demanding the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year.
“As a law enforcement agency with primacy for national security did you ask the government or representatives for invocation of the Emergencies Act?” Sen. Vernon White asked Lucki.
“No, there was never question of requesting the Emergencies Act,” replied Lucki.
White then asked, “Do you know of any other police leadership that specifically asked the government for the invocation?”
“No,” Lucki replied.
Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said repeatedly that the act was invoked after conferring with law enforcement over the extraordinary measures.
Trudeau didn’t specify which law enforcement agency provided that advice, but the RCMP is the federal police body that would normally interact with the federal government.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) also falls under federal law enforcement and was impacted by the border blockades.
The Epoch Times reached out to CBSA to find out if at any point it provided advice to the government to invoke the act but the agency said it was not able to respond by publication time.
Mendicino has stated at least 11 times that the act was invoked based on advice received from law enforcement, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“We invoked the Emergencies Act on advice from the police,” Mendicino said in the House of Commons on May 3.
“It was on the advice of law enforcement that we invoked the Emergencies Act,” he said in the House on April 28.
“It was only after we got advice from law enforcement that we invoked the Emergencies Act,” Mendicino said in the House on April 26, in the same words Trudeau used a day later.
Along with the claim of receiving advice from law enforcement that is in part disputed by Lucki’s testimony, the issue of government transparency with regards to invoking the act surfaced again during the joint committee on May 10.
Lucki and another witness CSIS Director David Vigneault were not always candid in their answers, citing confidentiality, which left committee members frustrated.
“I feel like the seriousness of this committee is undermined when we don’t get the frankness and the concise and full information that we deserve,” said NDP MP Matthew Green, mentioning that the lack of information provided by the government started to feel like “contempt of this committee.”
The government has so far asserted cabinet confidence and solicitor-client privilege to avoid answering a number of questions about its historic decision to invoke the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 for the first time since its creation.
The Canadian Press contributed to this report