On October 25, we saw witnesses Russell Lucas and Marcel Beaudin testify, and while most viewers may not know the names, they are significant figures in the Public Order Emergencies Act Inquiry.
The inquiry is investigating the justification provided by the Trudeau government in using a counter-terrorism law to crackdown on the peaceful weeks-long anti-COVID demonstrations led by truckers in Ottawa this past February.
Russell Lucas was the first witness of the day. Lucas is from the Ottawa Police Service and has been part of the OPS since 2000. According to the commission’s documents, “in January 2022, Inspector Lucas began providing oversight to the Special Events office as Inspector of the Operational Support Team.”
It was on January 21 that Inspector Lucas began to serve as OPS’ incident commander for the Freedom Convoy.
Lucas spoke about misinformation, talking about different sources of information online that he did not see as credible as others. Lucas said misinformation was having a big impact on policing the Freedom Convoy, and he claimed it was a big challenge to try to stay ahead of.
The inspector noted officers were taking selfies with protesters.
Interestingly, the commission heard what Lucas thought the goal of the convoy was. He said he understood the role of the Freedom Convoy was to “raise awareness” and show discontent with government overreach around COVID-19 mandates.
The second witness of the day was Marcel Beaudin, from the Ontario Provincial Police, who chose to swear on a feather before beginning his testimony.
Later, Brendan Miller, a lawyer representing the convoy organizers, had a mic-drop moment reviewing evidence with Beaudin.
The whole room went silent.
To summarize, Beaudin said the OPP had a plan to handle the Freedom Convoy peacefully without requiring the Emergencies Act. He apparently gave that plan to Trudeau’s cabinet right before the cabinet took the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. The deal with the truckers was very similar to the plan suggested by convoy organizers, as Tom Marazzo told Rebel News later.
Trudeau read the plan. He then threw it away, and invoked the Emergencies Act anyway. Beaudin’s reaction is priceless at the end, and this evidence was surely damning for the federal government.
Finally, that same day, Liberal ministers and even Trudeau himself spoke about the inquiry and the fact that Ontario Premier Doug Ford was summoned to testify.
Relatively speaking, we are just a few days into this hearing, and everyday it seems to get worse for the Trudeau government.