Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister Sylvia Jones can use parliamentary privilege to ignore a summons to testify from the Emergencies Act inquiry, despite him having “valuable evidence to offer,” the federal court has ruled.
As long as the Ontario Legislative Assembly remains in session, Doug Ford and Minister Sylvia Jones “may resist the summonses by asserting parliamentary privilege and the Commission cannot take steps to enforce their attendance and compel them to give evidence,” reads the ruling by Justice Simon Fothergill Monday morning.
Fothergill also ruled the commission had the right to issue the summons, something that the Ford government contested. It also found that Ford and Sylvia likely have relevant information to offer the inquiry.
The Public Order Emergency Commission is currently studying if the federal government met the legal threshold to invoke the exceptional powers of the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 as part of efforts to clear Freedom Convoy protests across the country.
“I am satisfied that the Commissioner had jurisdiction to issue the summonses. The matters in respect of which the Premier and Minister have been called to testify are within the scope of the Commissioner’s mandate, and it appears that both witnesses may have valuable evidence to offer,” reads the ruling.
More to come.
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