263 Comments
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Nov 25, 2022·edited Nov 25, 2022Pinned

Just rules of the road: Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts. Disagree and get a bit punchy, if that's what you feel like.

But be civil to each other, please. I *can* ban you.

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Hey Justin,

Really appreciate your work - you do an outstanding job getting to the truth, explaining the facts to us. As the Brits say, “Well done you.” Have enjoyed every one of your articles, tweets, etc.

I left Twitter - couldn’t stand Elon Musk one more second! Am sure glad you are still on it as your tweets are so informative, interesting, and sometimes humorous. Thanks!

Was looking for an email address for you, so I could show my appreciation for your brilliant work, and I came across this platform.

It is great you’re doing your important work, as we must defeat the evil monsters like Putin and Xi. They cannot be allowed to win their despicable, depraved war on democracy. I heard there are fewer democracies than there used to be. Countries like Russia, China, North Korea, Sudan, the Saudi nations, Syria, Belarus, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Cuba cannot be allowed to suppress, monitor, beat, imprison, torture, and murder innocent children, women, men.

There are too many people who believe in the likes of those barbaric, sadistic, controlling, corrupt, arrogant, manipulative, narcissistic, misogynistic, evil despots who rule these countries through the most extreme intimidation, violence, and hatred. They become billionaires on the backs of innocent citizens, who live in the most abject poverty. Of course their equally corrupt, monstrous, and dishonest allies and cronies who got them into power, and who keep them there, are equally as dangerous and disgusting. These criminals are cut from the same cloth. We, who believe in the rule of good law and fair, humane governmental institutions, must stop savage depraved men who rule through phenomenal violence, cruelty, corruption, injustice, intimidation, deception, bribery, and abuse.

Thank you again, Justin, for doing your part in helping to protect our precious democratic way of life. You are a gem.

Yours sincerely,

Caarra Morzby

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Nov 26, 2022Liked by Justin Ling

Caught you on As It Happens last night - you talked A LOT in the short time you had but it was all good. In fact, VERY good. New host let you go for it. Great host. Thanks for doing this chat and for following closely all convoy news and developments and reporting back. I will catch up today with the other interviews/apperances you've done post and re: POEC.

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Nov 25, 2022Liked by Justin Ling

Many thanks to Commissioner Paul Rouleau. A man who was slow to anger has depths of patience and gentle humour. Thanks also to his team and the many people who contributed to bringing this inquiry to us as quickly and completely as they did. I’m impressed and grateful.

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founding
Nov 25, 2022Liked by Justin Ling

I know we’re done here, but man, Eva Chipiuk is a poor closer.

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Nov 25, 2022Liked by Justin Ling

Really enjoyed this forum today. Great comments. Who the hell needs Twitter, when you partake in this?

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“Fulsome”! Just a pet peeve, but the word is used incorrectly (again) — or maybe not. The judge has sat through a great deal.

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author

Alright I'm going to wind down this liveblog. I'm going to try and catch the closing statements, but I'm running around doing some interviews.

If you're interested, I'll be on CBC's As It Happens a bit later, and Global's The West Block this weekend.

If you enjoyed this liveblog, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Thanks for joining, everyone. I really enjoyed this! Thanks for contributing.

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author

Alright I'm back. Did I miss anything good?

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Is this your hair?

Yes

Is this side of the hair, your hair?

Yes

Spinning the hair 3 degrees

Is this side of the hair, your hair?

Yes

Spinning the hair 3 degrees

Is this side of the hair, your hair?

Yes

Spinning the hair 3 degrees

Is this side of the hair, your hair?

Yes

Spinning the hair 3 degrees

Is this side of the hair, your hair?

Yes

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I don't get a lot of these lawyers - they list a whole series of facts and get the person to answer they agree, and I get the feeling they are leading to a big 'gotcha'. And often that final moment falls flat, as they must have known it would.

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zing. that lawyer actually looked like he was impressed with that clarification

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author

I'm offline for a few minutes recording an interview. Keep each other updated!

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Is the Saskatchewan lawyer could be a crazy bugger..

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author

The B story of today's testimony is that Trudeau and his cabinet seemed very sure that the Ottawa/OPP plan wasn't worth much.

Various parties today have tried to get Trudeau to admit that the plan was, in fact, super great.

I'm not sure they really succeeded. Because you can read the reports, they're in evidence. They do seem quite aspirational and missing some really key parts, including securing tow trucks.)

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Brenda, Brenda, Brenda...

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Not exactly much in terms of fireworks. And Trudeau managed to throw in there that Kenney called the protesters irrational and extremists.

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Nov 25, 2022Liked by Justin Ling

"So you in fact actually love Chief Sloly"

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I’m no fan of the PM, but you gotta hand it to him.. he held up pretty well, maintaining his poise in what must be a helluva long day.

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Counsel for the city of Ottawa is out on a quest to see why Trudeau didn't do enough to lambast Ford.

Again, a lot of this cross is blame-shifting and reputation-defending. Which is not reaaaaaally the point of this Commission (but which was always going to be the reality)

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I'm a bit surprised at how little brouhaha was assembled for today. The public gallery was certainly full — a mix of pro-convoy and seemingly anti-convoy types.

Outside, there's a few ornery protesters, including a guy with a massive three-flag flagpole, but that's it.

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I have to leave the conference room to run off and do an interview. But I'll be following remotely!

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author

The final question: "When did you and your government start to become afraid of your own citizens."

Woof.

There's some very light clapping, which pushes Rouleau to threaten to oust half the room.

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Oh, Trudeau is pushing back on it: Says it breaks his heart to speak to people who sat on their loved one's bedside as they died — people "who believed that the vaccines were more dangerous than the vaccines."

The crowd is getting increasingly incredulous, but still staying pretty quiet.

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I guess her plan was to allow Trudeau to equally grandstand? but because hes way more trained/skilled, not sure this is going how they want?

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"in the mist" umm.. thats.. not the saying.

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Chipiuk is now reading statements from unvaccinated Ottawa residents about how vaccine mandates destroyed their life and the "patriotic" convoy restored their hope.

Can't believe they have 15 minutes to cross-examine the prime minister and THIS is what they're using the time for.

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And we're on to cross-examination from Freedom Corp! It's not Brendan Miller, but instead Eva Chipiuk. (She's been involved with some of the legal issues wrt to the convoy since early on.)

She's going for a very tame line of questioning, pointing out that there had been an agreement between Mayor Jim Watson and some of the convoy organizers to move trucks out of the downtown core.

Trudeau and Chipiuk spar over exactly what that means. Trudeau points out (rightly) that the agreement only covered some trucks, in some parts of downtown, and many truckers said they would not abide by the deal.

"Where did you learn that? On Twitter?" Chipiuk says.

She then suggests it was police who were blocking trucks from moving out of downtown. (What she means is: Police blocked them from moving between one part of downtown and another.)

Trudeau points out the cops were letting the trucks leave whenever they wanted.

Chipiuk seems to think Wellington Street means "outside of the downtown residential areas." Which, if you know Ottawa at all, is flat-out wrong.

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Did the convoy organizers change lawyers.

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Dumb question time: Is all of this about anything other that public opinion in the next election?

Is that the only court that can hold a government accountable for, in the opinion of a commission, incorrectly (insufficiently?) bringing down the EA? Can the commission make a referral to justice to have Trudeau arrested for some crime on the books, like the Jan6 bunch in Congress referring Trump for sedition charges, or whatever?

Because, if this is just about calling out Trudeau as having overreacted, abrogated civil rights without sufficient cause, Bad PM! Bad! .... then it was all over in late February. Because the public were way, way, way in favour of ending the occupations. Authorita is ALWAYS forgiven transgressions upon the rights of the unpopular.

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Counsel for the Alberta government is trying to get Trudeau to admit that the Emergencies Act wasn't necessary — pointing to effective enforcement actions that disrupted an alleged murder plot in Coutts and clear other border blockades. Trudeau pushing back. Kind of a draw.

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Alright we're back.

Brendan Miller, by the way, isn't even in the building. Word apparently went out last night that he would not be cross-examining the PM today. Not quite sure who will be standing in for Freedom Corp, which represents the convoy organizers.

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Anyone else find that the cross-examination didn't really go anywhere? The lawyer for the group before OPS's deal is I guess "everything's redacted so there's no transparency". And pulled up a 5 page redacted document that he seemed to imply was the policing plan (doing work with this on in the background so I'm missing bits and pieces). And used his time to basically just ask questions that were always going to be objected to, just to have it in the record that he asked them. Not sure that the inquiry really cares, but ok.

Then the OPS lawyer pulled up a completed different document which was apparently the most recent plan, so what was the previous lawyer looking at? And while that document had a lot of pages, it looked more like an outline for a report with like 8 sections per page to be filled in later. I missed if they actually scrolled to around pages 13 or 14 or if they said that each of the sections referenced an appendix or other document or something. My initial reaction was the similar to Trudeau's. The table of contents itself gives the impression that nothing was adequately planned out. Weird as well to bring in meeting minutes from a day prior where it was agreed that there wasn't a suitable plan developed. Was sort of confused about what they were trying to accomplish there.

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There is a kid here in a Scarface sweater.

Like who made a Scarface sweater in kids' sizes???

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I suspect that when the Emergencies Act was written, nobody had in mind a crisis of absurd inaction, one of powers going unused and plans going unmade in the face of an extremely loud Somebody Else's Problem field.

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My guess is that the political and legal questions will, eventually, converge, as they did during the pandemic – where, you will recall, there were all kinds of “legal” challenges and all kinds of “rights talk” raised about vaccination, including invocation of the Charter of Rights. But in the end, the government will be judged upon whether its actions were reasonable and whether they were effective.

My only point is that that is also the test in the Emergencies Act itself. Moreover, the whole structure of the statute – with its checks and balances and consultation and compulsory review – suggests that the drafters of the law did not think that these questions were easy or that the assessment was a black and white exercise.

Despite the assertions of certain pundits and partisans in the media.

In other words, the scheme of the legislation, read as a whole, gives the political decision maker the benefit of the doubt, so long as they are acting “reasonably”. Which in the legal world is not at all unusual.

So, I look forward to the Judge’s analysis of these questions – not that I am under any illusion that partisans will accept it, because there have already been snide Trump-like assertions that the process is unfair or rigged or biased. That is inevitable in today’s world.

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Format feedback - this is an interesting alternative to Twitter feeds - more commentary but maybe less reach, being on Substack. Free access is a feature here (thanks) but if pay-per-view substacks use this, it then restricts commentary and idea sharing to only supporters, which might restrict a wider exchange of ideas.

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author

We're on lunch break! I'm going to figure out how to secure some lunch. Feel free to keep chiming in while we're on break.

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Jumping on this now....and we're off to lunch...ffs.

At least I can go through these comments and get up to speed.

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Lawyer for the Ottawa Police Service is now going through the operational plan put together from the various police departments. Earlier, he bashed this as a total lack of a plan.

OPS seems to have a plan to get him to say the plan was a plan. Counsel is showing him the table of confidence to show how robust the plan was!

"The entire deployment plan fits onto one page?" Trudeau says, rather snarkily.

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Can you kiss-and-tell about the comments/heckles/comments from the gallery that the Commissioner is talking about? They don't reach any microphones.

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Ooh. Counsel is putting Trudeau on the spot, asking him to make an order to unredact a heavily-redacted document — the operational plan to end the occupation. One that Trudeau earlier said was woefully insufficient, and required the Emergencies Act.

The Attorney General counsel objects to that.

Rouleau says it's unfair to demand Trudeau wave his wand from the witness stand: "I would be very surprised if the federal government would order its release without consulting with other police services," Rouleau says.

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The Canadian Constitution Foundation is onto a cross-examination that is a bit muddled. Counsel seems keen to make the case that Trudeau didn't show the CSIS assessment — the one concluded that the occupation was not a threat to the safety of the country — to his whole cabinet.

Not exactly a Perry Mason moment, here.

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Counsel for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is interrogating Trudeau on why some documents were redacted. He shows the same document side-by-side — one redacted for "unrelated information" and the other one unredacted (as of this morning.)

The sentence, which was redacted and then unredacted, reads: "Americans offering tow trucks."

[Law & Order cha-chung noise]

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As I read the Emergencies Act, the Cabinet decision to invoke that law, turns on whether there were reasonable grounds to believe that the conditions for doing so existed, at the time that it chose to act. NOT that those conditions did, in fact, exist; but rather whether there was a reasonable basis for believing that they did.

This is a bit like the police power to do a personal search if they reasonably believe a crime has been committed, even though the proof of that allegation will be sorted out, later, and, in a criminal setting, beyond a reasonable doubt.

In other words, the EA trigger engages a reasonableness test, not a correctness test; moreover it is one in which both the affirmative and the negative answers to the question (should we act or not?) rest on degree of speculation, along with the meaning of some words that are open to contextual interpretation. And of course a factual context is not static, but dynamic and evolving and subject to uncertainty.

It is therefore entirely possible for Cabinet to have been mistaken and still to have acted both properly, and in good faith and, of course, in a way that was effective and beneficial. Especially if the EA is read as a prophylactic tool that is intended to avoid harm, not just a reaction to what has already happened. That is, relying on the precautionary principle, that surfaced, so often, during the pandemic.

Because of course, the political game (and to some extent the medial game) is about assigning or avoiding blame, and has very little to do with an objective assessment of the public interest.

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Next on cross is the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. Lots of towtruck-based questioning.

Probably the most a sitting prime minister has ever been interrogated about tow trucks.

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Annnnd we're into cross-examination. The fun bit!

First up is the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Their counsel is building up the case that the Act was unnecessary — that many of the wheels were in motion to clear the blockades prior to the Act being implemented, and that many of the most effective tactics were enabled by existing authority and legislation. She's highlighting that there was a feeling in various law enforcement agencies that they could have implemented a plan to retake Ottawa, and that there were more tools that hadn't yet been used.

Trudeau digging into this line of thinking a bit. Says "the ability of the police to resolve it was not there" and that while there may have been unused authorities, that was on the police for being unwilling/unable to use them.

The cross got a bit lost in the middle. But counsel gets to the $1,000,000 question at the end:

Counsel puts to Trudeau that the Emergencies Act threshhold "cannot be any lower than when CSIS proposes to surveil one person." Do you agree?

"Yes," Trudeau says.

That's an interesting answer.

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Ewa Krajewska, a civil liberties lawyer, is up now. Very precise and organized, good cross-examination. BTW - love that subtle Irish(?) accent she has ;-)

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Asked whether invoking the Emergencies Act might have worsened peoples' faith in public institutions, Trudeau flips it around — the inability of governments, cities, police to regain order and keep people safe is even more corrosive to trust in our system.

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"They were very much heard," Trudeau says of the protesters. There were political parties pitching their preferred policy measures — ending mandates, discouraging vaccine use.

"It was clear that it wasn't that they just want to be heard, they wanted to be obeyed."

That elicits some gasps and head-shakes in the room.

Not really sure how you argue with that statement, though. As Trudeau points out, even after Ford and Kenney lifted some mandates, the occupations in Ottawa and Coutts continued.

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