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Federal judge to hear Doug Ford’s Emergencies Act legal challenge on Nov. 1

Click to play video: 'Federal judge to hear Ford’s Emergencies Act appeal'
Federal judge to hear Ford’s Emergencies Act appeal
WATCH: A federal judge will hear Premier Doug Ford’s legal appeal to avoid testifying in the federal Emergencies Act inquiry. Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Colin D’Mello reports – Oct 28, 2022

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been given a court date by a federal judge, allowing provincial lawyers to make an emergency motion to keep the premier from testifying at the Emergencies Act inquiry.

Ford and Deputy Premier Sylvia Jones are scheduled to appear at the Public Order Emergency Commission in Ottawa on Nov. 10 after receiving a summons compelling the pair of politicians to speak under oath about Ontario’s response to the Ottawa occupation in early 2022.

The provincial government, however, is attempting to fight the summons, claiming Ford and Jones have parliamentary privilege that applies to sitting MPPs while the legislature is in session and for a period of time before and after.

Click to play video: 'Ford lashes out at opposition over Ottawa occupation'
Ford lashes out at opposition over Ottawa occupation

The legal battle is the latest attempt by the provincial government to resist the commission’s attempts to hear the Premier’s side of the story after multiple witnesses pointed fingers at Ford for his alleged refusal to participate in tripartite political meetings concerning the occupation, along with claims that Jones misled the public.

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Lawyers for the commission laid out some of their questions for the Premier in a letter to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

“The evidence so far is that Premier Ford told Mayor Watson the table was a waste of time. Why? The other levels of government don’t seem to think so. What is Ontario’s point of view?” Commission lawyers asked in an email on Oct. 18 as part of their pitch to speak with Premier Ford.

The government maintained it would not be “necessary or helpful” to have the premier participate in the process.

On Thursday, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique also cast doubt on then-Solicitor General Sylvia Jones’s claims that over 1,500 provincial police officers had been dispatched to help Ottawa police.

“That 1,501 is an administrative number,” Carrique told the commission. “I believe it was 135 to 150 officers a day over a 10-day period, is [how] our analysts came up with that number.”

“At no point in time on that date would we have had 1,500 officers in Ottawa at one time,” Carrique said.

The mounting questions led to a fiery exchange at Queen’s Park on Thursday with Ford accusing Ottawa-area Liberal MPP John Fraser of “hiding in his basement” during the occupation.

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Fraser fired back by pointing out that Ford — who admitted to riding his snowmobile in cottage country during the occupation — had abdicated his responsibility as premier.

Paul Champ, a lawyer representing Ottawa area businesses and residents, said Ford should clear up his actions during the occupation under oath.

“It appears to us that there was indifference, putting it charitably, on the part of Queen’s Park about what was happening in Ottawa,” Champ told Global News on Friday. “We believe they should come here and speak to why they were giving the crisis in Ottawa such a low priority.”

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford breaks silence on Emergencies Act inquiry'
Doug Ford breaks silence on Emergencies Act inquiry

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