The Ottawa Police Service admitted on Tuesday that they never appealed to the Trudeau government to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to the Freedom Convoy protests that took over much of the downtown core for weeks in February.
Interim Police Chief Steve Bell took questions from Conservative MPs during Tuesday's committee hearing, where he told MP Andrew Scheer that police were involved in conversations with federal ministries, but said that "We didn’t make a direct request for the Emergencies Act."
Bell echoed statements made by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, who said last week that no such request was made to the feds.
With both the RCMP and Ottawa Police saying that they made no appeals to the Trudeau government, questions are now being asked about why the act was put into place altogether.
Liberal minister Marco Mendicino said on February 28 that the Trudeau government was "acting on the advice of law enforcement members."
"Mr. Speaker, the Emergencies Act was essential to law enforcement success in ending blockades and protests across the country," said Mendicino. "We always said we would not keep the act in force for any longer than was necessary, and we made good on that commitment. As we have said since the beginning, we are acting on the advice of law enforcement members and giving them the tools they need. We will continue to provide all of the enforcement tools that are required to maintain public safety."
In April Mendicino told committee that the protests were a "massive illegal occupation" and that the Trudeau government was engaged with law enforcement to ensure that the correct measures were taken.
"However, when efforts using existing authorities proved ineffective, the advice we received was to invoke the Emergencies Act," he said, according to the Globe and Mail.
Mendicino has claimed that there was a strong consensus among law enforcement that the act was necessary, saying again that the government sought the advice of law enforcement before invoking the act.
"The government in good faith sought the advice of law enforcement prior to its invocation on very specific powers, which were then subsequently used by law enforcement to restore public safety at a time of unprecedented civil disobedience in the opinion of professional, non-partisan police," he said.