Canadian Lawyer Collapses Mid-Inquiry on Gov’t Use of Emergency Act During ‘Freedom Convoy’

An investigation into the use of Canada’s Emergencies Act against the Freedom Convoy stopped briefly Wednesday after an attorney collapsed during a hearing.

Gabriel Poliquin of the Public Order Emergency Commission collapsed during the questioning of Ontario’s deputy solicitor general Mario Di Tommaso, according to CBC.

Video of the episode showed Poliquin crumping behind his podium as spectators gasped.

CBC had no further details on Poliquin’s condition, calling it “unclear.” However, a post on Twitter indicated he was on the mend and “I should be up and running in a few days.”

The hearings were called to probe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Feb. 14 decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to break up the Freedom Convoy, which at the time was occupying some streets in Ottawa and blocking border crossings.

The hearings, which began last month and are set to wrap up on Nov. 25,  were set to resume Thursday.

The Freedom Convoy began as a national protest against COVID-19 mandates, with truckers forming a convoy in western Canada that traveled across the country to Ottawa. Once there, the convoy remained for 23 days until the Emergencies Act was invoked. Spin-offs from the main convoy blockaded border crossings.

According to Global News, a document entered into evidence in the hearings from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said the act would have positive and negative effects.

The report said it would clear Ottawa of truckers who had occupied parts of the city’s downtown, but also “likely increase the number of Canadians who hold extreme anti-government views and push some toward the belief that violence is the only solution to what they perceive as a broken system and government.”

The document said that as of Feb. 3, there were no indications that any violence was planned by the Freedom Convoy.

CSIS warned after it was invoked that using the act might push individuals toward violent ideologies.

In testimony last week, organizer Chris Barber said the development of the Freedom Convoy was “completely organic.”

“Everything just literally fell right into place… I believe it was about two weeks from the time we started talking about it, to the time we actually left. It was extremely fast,” he said, according to CTV.

Organizer Tamara Lich said she was spurred to action when her member of Parliament never replied to her communications about COVID-19 mandates.

“I was growing increasingly alarmed with the mandates and the harm that I was seeing the mandates inflict on Canadians,” she said, according to CTV.

“I never, in a million years saw this coming and never had an agenda. I literally just wanted to help some truckers drive across Canada and stand in front of Parliament with some signs, that was literally what I had envisioned,” she said.

During the hearings, convoy member Pat King responded to concerns expressed by Ottawa residents about truck horns disturbing their sleep, according to CBC.

“We’d been locked down for two years and people are complaining that they heard horns for 10 days. Did they remember what we went through for the last two years? What’s a little bit of horns for 10 days?” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.