Public & Private Law

‘An open thoughts’: A take a look at Justice Paul Rouleau, the person main the convoy protest inquiry

When Paul Rouleau kicked off the inquiry into the federal authorities’s use of the Emergencies Act, he warned in opposition to permitting the proceedings to change into “adversarial.”

“I acknowledge that completely different factors of view might be forcefully superior. That is to be anticipated. It is necessary, nonetheless, that always disagreement be respectful,” Rouleau stated, including that he would “actively management the proceedings.”

As the pinnacle of the inquiry into the federal authorities’s use of emergency powers in response to the anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate protest that gridlocked components of downtown Ottawa this previous winter, the Ontario Courtroom of Attraction justice would be the public face of what could possibly be a polarizing and politically tense six weeks.

WATCH | Ontario choose says inquiries ‘usually are not trials’: 

In opening remarks of Emergencies Act inquiry, Ontario choose says inquiries ‘usually are not trials’

Within the first day of the inquiry into using the Emergencies Act earlier this 12 months to clear Ottawa of protesters, Ontario Courtroom Justice Paul Rouleau says inquiries usually are not meant to move judgment on crimes for anybody concerned.

The Public Order Emergency Fee started public hearings Thursday on the federal government’s resolution to invoke the Emergencies Act. It’s anticipated to listen to from 65 witnesses throughout its factual stage, together with protest individuals, legislation enforcement representatives, federal cupboard ministers and officers with provincial and municipal governments.

The opening day noticed battle strains taking form as attorneys for key gamers — together with the federal authorities, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Ottawa police and protest organizers — gave transient opening remarks.

The federal authorities’s attorneys have promised to put out the step-by-step course of which led the federal government to declare a public emergency as a “final resort,” whereas a lawyer for the convoy organizers has stated the federal government by no means met the authorized threshold to invoke the act.

With a good timeline for the hearings — they’re scheduled to wrap on Nov. 25 — here is what we all know concerning the man tasked with heading up the fee.

Schooling and authorized observe

Rouleau is initially from Eastview, Ont., now generally known as the Vanier neighbourhood of Ottawa, in line with his biography from the Universite de l’Ontario Francais.

He acquired a bachelor of administration in 1974 and later a bachelor of legislation in 1977, each from the College of Ottawa.

Rouleau was known as to the bar in 1979 and would later acquire a masters diploma in legislation from York College in 1984, in line with his biography on the Ontario Courtroom of Attraction web site.

In 2002, Rouleau was appointed an Ontario Superior Courtroom choose throughout Jean Chrétien’s Liberal authorities, after which a choose on the Ontario Courtroom of Attraction in 2005.

In 2014, he was appointed to the Yukon Supreme Courtroom and later the Nunavut Courtroom of Justice and the Supreme Courtroom of the Northwest Territories, each in 2017.

Throughout his opening remarks on Thursday, Justice Paul Rouleau stated his expertise as a choose would inform how he conducts the inquiry. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Throughout his opening remarks on Thursday, Rouleau stated his expertise as a choose would inform how he conducts the inquiry.

“Throughout these hearings I might be listening to the majority of this proof for the primary time, similar to members of the general public,” he stated. “To that finish, I’ve made no findings and reached no conclusions.

“Like a choose, my findings and conclusion might be primarily based on the proof that’s introduced to me. I’ll preserve an open thoughts all through and can solely attain a ultimate conclusion as soon as the proof is all in.”

Raj Anand is chair of the Regulation Fee of Ontario’s board of governors on which Rouleau serves. He stated Rouleau is sensible, considerate and really focused on advancing the legislation.

With 17 years as a choose of the Courtroom of Attraction behind him already, Anand stated, Rouleau has seen many necessary authorized points that he brings to his function on the board.

“He has numerous expertise and plenty of concepts, and he does not hesitate to specific these concepts,” Anand informed the Canadian Press this previous spring.

Advocate for French authorized companies, schooling

Rouleau has been an lively advocate for entry to French language schooling and authorized companies in Ontario.

In 1981, he helped discovered the Affiliation des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario, a gaggle of Francophone authorized professionals that promotes entry to French authorized companies.

Ronald Caza, who labored with Rouleau when he was president of the affiliation, stated Rouleau’s strategy to litigation was all the time sensible reasonably than technical.

“I feel he was fairly profitable, as a result of if you convey a common sense strategy and a sensible strategy to authorized points, it’s extremely compelling for a courtroom. It’s extremely compelling for a choose, that argument, as a result of it kind of drives to the essence of what the litigation is about,” Caza informed the Canadian Press in April.

Rouleau was appointed to the Ontario lawyer normal’s advisory committee on entry to justice in French in 2018.

Then-lawyer Paul Rouleau speaks to Ce Soir En Ontario in 1984 concerning the Marchand case, during which he efficiently argued for the rights of youngsters to have entry to French public schooling. (Ce Soir En Ontario)

Rouleau can also be very extremely revered within the francophone group for championing precedent-setting circumstances on linguistic rights, stated Caza.

He efficiently argued for the appropriate of youngsters to have entry to French public schooling within the 1986 Marchand case, and likewise served as a faculty board trustee in Toronto within the Eighties, in line with the general public order fee.

Final 12 months, Rouleau was appointed the primary chancellor of the Universite de l’Ontario Francais.

Rouleau additionally labored for Liberal chief John Turner in 1984, in line with stories from Maclean’s from the period.

Position of the fee

Rouleau kicked off Thursday’s listening to by explaining the fee’s mandate and the challenges it faces.

“A fee’s suggestions could also be modest or wide-ranging. They might be directed at a spread of audiences, together with authorities, public our bodies and the personal sector,” stated the commissioner.

“It is also necessary to grasp what commissions of inquiry don’t do. They don’t make findings of authorized legal responsibility. They don’t decide whether or not people have dedicated crimes. Whereas inquiries search to uncover the reality, they don’t seem to be trials. Questions of civil and legal legal responsibility are determined by courts and never commissions.”

At Rouleau’s request, the Liberal authorities has waived cupboard confidence on paperwork associated to its invocation of the act, although it is not clear if these paperwork might be made public. It is solely the fourth time in Canada’s historical past {that a} public inquiry has been given entry to such high-level paperwork.

After listening to from Ottawa residents, enterprise representatives and two metropolis councillors on Friday, the fee is anticipated to listen to from quite a few metropolis officers and police representatives this week.

Ottawa Metropolis Supervisor Steve Kanellakos, outgoing Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Diane Deans — who was head of the Ottawa Police Providers Board for a majority of the protests — will seem earlier than the committee this week. Like Watson, Deans isn’t looking for re-election this month.

Additionally anticipated to testify this week are performing Deputy Chief of Ottawa Police Patricia Ferguson, retired chief superintendent of the Ontario Provincial Police Carson Pardy and OPP members Pat Morris and Craig Abrams.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button