Emergencies Act Inquiry Commissioner Denies Convoy Lawyers’ Several Requests, Including on Nazi Flag Controversy

by EditorL

Public Emergency Act Inquiry Commissioner Paul Rouleau. (Screen Shot)

By Noé Chartier

The commissioner of the Emergencies Act inquiry issued a ruling on Nov. 23 dismissing several requests made by the lawyers representing Freedom Convoy organizers, including related to the allegation that the individual carrying a Nazi flag at last winter’s protest was working for a public relations firm.

“Freedom Corp. has raised serious allegations regarding Enterprise Canada with little foundation in evidence,” Commissioner Paul Rouleau said in explaining his ruling.

“As troublesome as Freedom Corp.’s allegations might be, even if they had been supported by compelling evidence the fact is that they would have little, if any, relevance to the key issues that the Commission must determine.”

Freedom Corp lawyer Brendan Miller earlier this week alleged that Enterprise Canada principal Brian Fox was the individual who was holding a Nazi flag in the first days of the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa.

Enterprise denied the allegation as “entirely unsubstantiated and deeply offensive” and sent a cease and desist letter to Miller on Nov. 22.

The letter says that Fox had not been in Ottawa since 2019 and that he’s a member of the Conservative Party and a supporter of Pierre Poilievre.

Freedom Corp made an application to the commission to have Enterprise produce documents and to compel Fox and other individuals to testify.

It also sought to obtain a license plate record for a pick-up truck that had been photographed carrying the Confederate flag.

Rouleau dismissed the attempt to obtain the license plate information as a “fishing expedition” with the basis for seeking the information being “purely speculative.”

Freedom Corp alleged that there is “evidence and grounds to suspect that the flags and purported protestors using them, were not protestors with the convoy at all, but provocateurs,” according to Rouleau’s ruling.

Freedom Corp lawyers submitted an affidavit from an individual who says he had interacted with the Nazi flag holder at the time.

The ruling says the individual went on the Enterprise website after hearing the allegation this week and identified Fox as the flag bearer.

Freedom Corp had also filed an application with the commission to have redactions lifted on a set of federal government documents.

The government kept the redactions almost entirely, lifting only irrelevant portions.

“I have no reason to question the good faith of their review. I see no useful purpose in ordering that the redactions be lifted,” says Rouleau’s decision.

One of the documents is a Feb. 12 email from Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair to his chief of staff Zita Astravas on the “engagement proposal” with protesters. The entirety of the body of the email is redacted.

Another document is a Feb. 12 email from Mary-Liz Power, an advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with the subject line “RE: Protest Update – Saturday, Feb 12, 2022.” The email was sent to staff from the Prime Minister’s Office including Katie Telford and Brian Clow. The entirety of the email body is redacted.

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