Jacqueline Bogden, the government's deputy secretary on emergency preparedness, testifies at the Public Order Emergency Commission, Friday, November 18, 2022 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Cabinet ministers given suite of options in first week of ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest

The federal government’s deputy secretary on emergency preparedness says cabinet was presented with an ever-expanding menu of options to help resolve the growing protests blockading Ottawa streets and border crossings across the country last winter.

Jacqueline Bogden is testifying at the Public Order Emergency Commission, which is scrutinizing the events and advice that led to the Liberals’ mid-February decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.

Bogden says once it became clear protesters did not plan to leave downtown Ottawa, several cabinet ministers convened to review what the federal government could contribute to end the blockades.

She says as time went on and disruptions got worse, deputy ministers across the country were tasked with brainstorming options within the federal jurisdiction to stop the protests.

Janice Charette, the clerk of the Privy Council, and deputy clerk Nathalie Drouin are scheduled to testify later today.

Charette is mandated to act as a non-partisan adviser to the prime minister and sits at the top of the federal public service.

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