Here’s who will testify this week as Emergencies Act public inquiry hearings begin

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and so-called “Freedom Convoy” protest organizer Tamara Lich are among those who will be called to testify later this week in a probe into the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act earlier this year.

The list of names of all those called to testify before the Public Order Emergency Commission was released Tuesday morning, and it includes a number of politicians, protest organizers, and intelligence agency officials.

“The Commission is about to embark on the public phase of the process of finding answers to the questions assigned to it by Parliament under the Emergencies Act,” said Commissioner Paul Rouleau in a press release.

“This critical phase will shed light on the events that led to the declaration of the public order emergency and fully explore the reasons advanced for the declaration.”

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The public hearings are set to begin this Thursday in downtown Ottawa and will run to the end of November, according to the commission.

Over the course of six weeks of hearings, the commission will hear from more than 60 witnesses from a list that includes high-profile protesters, law enforcement, cabinet ministers and people impacted by the occupation. During that time, the commission will dig into the government’s justification for invoking the Emergencies Act.

The government granted police the extraordinary temporary powers on Feb. 14 when it decided to invoke the Act, a move that the government said would help law enforcement clear protestors out of downtown Ottawa and that also froze the bank accounts of some of those involved.

The controversial decision came after three weeks of protests, during which trucks snarled downtown Ottawa streets, with protestors blaring truck horns and disrupting the daily lives of residents. Similar protests clogged several border crossings across the country.

“I am confident that, with the cooperation of all of the parties, the hearings will provide a fair and thorough process for the presentation of the evidence required for the Commission to be able to give the public the answers to which it is entitled,” Rouleau said.

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The list of witnesses includes Ottawa resident Zexi Li, who is the lead plaintiff in a class action seeking millions in damages over the convoy protest. Ottawa city councillors and Mayor Jim Watson have also been called, as well as mayors from the border towns that were blockaded.

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Then-Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly has also been called to testify, alongside numerous other law enforcement officers from the Ottawa Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police alike. The Ottawa police were heavily criticized for their handling of the protests, a backlash that ultimately led to Sloly’s resignation.

A number of high-profile organizers were also called to testify, including Pat King, who came under fire for several racist comments he made in videos posted online, as well as Tamara Lich and Benjamin Dichter, the organizers who started a gofundme for the protests that was ultimately shut down.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki will be asked to speak to the commission as well as multiple high-profile intelligence officials, including David Vigneault — who is the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service — and Marie-Hèlene Chayer of the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre.

Many cabinet ministers, alongside Trudeau, have also been called to participate in the inquiry, which begins Thursday. Defence Minister Anita Anand, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Justice Minister David Lametti, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland are all named in the new list.

The inquiry will have to submit its final report to the government, which includes findings and recommendations, by Feb. 6.

Here is the full list of all 65 anticipated witnesses:

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  • Zexi Li
  • Victoria De La Ronde
  • Nathalie Carrier
  • Kevin McHale
  • Catherine McKenny (City of Ottawa)
  • Mathieu Fleury (City of Ottawa)
  • Steve Kanellakos (City of Ottawa)
  • Serge Arpin (City of Ottawa)
  • Jim Watson (City of Ottawa)
  • Diane Deans (City of Ottawa)
  • Patricia Ferguson (Ottawa Police Service)
  • Craig Abrams (Ontario Provincial Police – OPP)
  • Carson Pardy (OPP)
  • Pat Morris (OPP)
  • Steve Bell (Ottawa Police Service)
  • Russell Lucas (Ottawa Police Service)
  • Marcel Beaudin (OPP)
  • Robert Drummond (Ottawa Police Service)
  • Robert Bernier (Ottawa Police Service)
  • Thomas Carrique (OPP)
  • Peter Sloly
  • Brigitte Belton
  • James Bauder
  • Steeve Charland
  • Patrick King
  • Benjamin Dichter
  • Tom Marazzo
  • Chris Barber
  • Tamara Lich
  • Drew Dilkens (City of Windsor)
  • Dana Earley (Ontario Provincial Police)
  • Jason Crowley (Windsor Police Service)
  • Jim Willett (Village of Coutts)
  • Marco Van Huigenbos
  • Marlin Degrand (Alberta)
  • Mario Di Tommaso (Ontario)
  • Ian Freeman (Ontario)
  • Rob Stewart (Public Safety Canada)
  • Dominic Rochon (Public Safety Canada)
  • David Vigneault (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)
  • Michelle Tessier (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)
  • Marie-Hèlene Chayer (Integrated Threat Assessment Centre)
  • Deputy Commissioner Michael Duheme (RCMP)
  • Commissioner Brenda Lucki (RCMP)
  • Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki (RCMP)
  • John Ossowski (former, Canadian Border Services Agency)
  • Michael Keenan (Transport Canada)
  • Christian Dea (Transport Canada)
  • Michael Sabia (Department of Finance)
  • Rhys Mendes (Department of Finance)
  • Isabelle Jacques (Department of Finance)
  • Cindy Termorhuizen (Global Affairs Canada)
  • Joe Comartin (Global Affairs Canada)
  • Jody Thomas (Privy Council Office)
  • Jacquie Bogden (Privy Council Office)
  • Janice Charette (Privy Council Office)
  • Nathalie Drouin (Privy Council Office)
  • Minister Anita Anand (National Defence)
  • Minister Marco Mendicino (Public Safety)
  • Minister Bill Blair (Emergency Preparedness and President of the King’s Privy Council)
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • Minister Omar Alghabra (Transport Canada)
  • Minister David Lametti (Justice)
  • Minister Dominic LeBlanc (Intergovernmental Affairs)
  • Minister Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Finance)

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