David Lametti

David Lametti spoke 385 times across 1 day of testimony.

  1. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    On a Bible, please.


  2. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    David Lametti, D-A-V-I-D L-A-M-E-T-T-I.


  3. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good morning.


  4. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, I did.


  5. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I confirm its accuracy.


  6. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you. It's -- they are two complicated roles, and it is an important question. As Minister of Justice, I'm a member of Cabinet. I'm responsible for what one might call justice policy and the development of justice policy, the curation of the Criminal Code, various institutions, Human Rights Commission, for example, and Privacy Commission, other Commissions that are associated with justice policy writ large in Canada, so they fall under my purview. I do not -- I'll frame that, I'll come back to that when I talk about the Attorney General role. So in that role, I'm a member of Cabinet, I participate in Cabinet discussions, give my opinions, as would any other Cabinet Minister, and do the work reading my documents but also other documents from other Ministers in that regard and in giving informed opinions. The other role is Attorney General. I'm the government lawyer, also sit at the Cabinet table as Attorney General, and I give legal advice to the government. I receive legal advice from time to time through the Department of Justice, which has lawyers dedicated to giving legal advice in that Attorney General role. I'm the titular head on litigation, all litigation that the Government of Canada does. And I have a role in shaping that litigation, particularly as it approaches higher courts, courts of appeal and the Supreme Court. And again, in that role, I will give advice to the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister directly from time to time. On most pieces of legislation, for example, there will be opinions being given, although there are occasional mentions in the Justice Act of the Minister of Justice giving that role, so I will -- the lines are reasonably well demarcated. They certainly are well demarcated in my mind. We've had the Anne McLellan Report of a few years back, which helped in the framing of certain kinds of litigation to distinguish the roles. And certainly, I would say that in all of my interactions with colleagues, including informal interactions, I will always try to be clear which hat I am wearing as I'm speaking, and if that hat changes in the course of a conversation, I will give them a flag. And so I'm well aware of that two -- of those two roles. What I will also say -- this is the part that I had bracketed out before, is unlike the Attorney General of the United States, I do not lead investigations and prosecutions. We have an independent prosecution service, and there are other rules that guide my relationship with the Director of Public Prosecutions, but that's important to remember as well.


  7. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I know it well.


  8. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  9. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, completely.


  10. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's right. I alluded to that in my opening remarks.


  11. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I believe that’s right.


  12. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  13. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I believe so, yes.


  14. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And I believe it’s a text exchange with him. I know he’s my Chief of Staff.


  15. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  16. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Certainly. There is evidence of systemic racism in our justice system. It’s in my mandate letter. I do my best to try to root it out with various policies. And certainly there was legitimate criticism being levelled at police authorities with respect to that weekend, that if it had been a Black Lives Matter protest or an Indigenous protest that perhaps the police reaction might have been different. This is a conversation between Mr. Steinhouse and myself, it’s not meant to be public; obviously, it’s in a text. But I am sensitive to claims of systemic racism in our policing. I’m sensitive to systemic racism in our criminal justice system, and I’m doing my best in the areas of my purview to identify and to weed it out.


  17. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I would interpret it more as, are the police moving in the same way that they would be, were the protesters Indigenous or Black?


  18. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    What kinds of laws, bylaws exist at the municipal level, at the provincial level, or at the federal level with respect to this kind of occupation, which already -- it was clear that when they didn’t leave it ceased being a protest and began being an occupation. What kind of authorities existed for the -- for the regulation or the ---


  19. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- safe removal of ---


  20. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I meant legal rules by the word “Normative”. I’m an old academic as ---


  21. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  22. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I was being prudent.


  23. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I was being prudent.


  24. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I had been through the pandemic with my Cabinet colleagues. It is no secret that we did discuss the Emergencies Act in the context of the pandemic, and I became quite familiar with the requirements for consultation and for the standards that would have to be met for different kinds of emergencies. And so I knew that we had to begin thinking about it, whether or not it was ever going to be an option. As was the case with the pandemic, we never actually used it. So it’s something that I prudently raised; this is -- there’s a question mark there, as we see. Something I’m prudently raising with my Chief of Staff to begin thinking about, to get the department to begin thinking about, in case we need it. Because the worst scenario would be something explodes, and we are not ready to use it because we haven’t done the kinds of consultations necessary or asked the appropriate questions to the appropriate people in order to get it done. So this is me being prudent, and it’s based on my experience and the work that I put in during the pandemic, again with the Emergencies Act and the possibility of using it in that context.


  25. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I don’t believe it’s me because I’m generally required to go to what’s called a “min dm” which is a ministerial, deputy ministerial meeting. So if anyone’s missing the meeting, it’s not me.


  26. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I would say the preparatory work for, ---


  27. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- is what I understood by that. and certainly in the context of the previous bubble, but also in the context of other discussions. It was about preparing for the possibility. Not preparing for the -- not preparing in any way for the introduction of the Act, but rather doing our due diligence as lawyers within the Justice Department and in our Ministry in order to make sure that if we were to use it, we would be prepared.


  28. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    You’re going to have to help me with the dates. It could be referring -- it could be referring to the SSE Committee. I believe at that point, that’s what it would be. It could have been -- it could have been a Cabinet meeting; I’m not certain. You’ll have to help me with the dates.


  29. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah. There’s no -- I don’t believe there’s an extraordinary meeting yet, and so this is really about being ready for all eventualities.


  30. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I certainly believe it is. I certainly recognize my words there. But I -- and I believe the other would be Minister Mendicino.


  31. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    But I’m not 100 percent certain.


  32. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I claim the green.


  33. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Loosely. We do have other work to do while we’re here.


  34. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I don’t believe so. I believe it’s a structured plan in stages to get protestors to leave peacefully, get occupiers to leave peacefully, and if not peacefully, begin to move them out in an orderly fashion, in a safe fashion. So there are different layers to that.


  35. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Right. And this is referring to local police, the police of jurisdiction.


  36. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  37. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s -- I’m a part time resident of Ottawa. I was a part time resident of Ottawa during this. I was forced out of my living arrangements in Ottawa because I felt that the place I was living was living was unsafe, given the protests. So I spent part of my time elsewhere in Ottawa and I spent part of my time in Montreal in order to escape Ottawa. So I was frustrated. I have to admit. This is a complete product of the heat of the moment. It is frank. I think I would soften it now with the benefit of hindsight, with respect to the former Ottawa Chief of Police. But it reflects, I think, the fact that my life had been altered by this, my staff was being harassed when they went into work, by convoy members who took issue with them wearing masks, particularly my female staff members on my Ministerial team. And I was quite frustrated. I will admit.


  38. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In these kinds of interactions, I’m interacting, first of all, with a colleague and a friend. So there will be banter. There will be occasional attempts at bad humour, on both of our parts, and with others as well. And there will be occasional movements of frustration, which you’ve seen here. I’m speaking here more as a Cabinet colleague, as a Minister. I’m not speaking as Attorney General. I will guard my comments when I’m giving legal advice to my Cabinet colleagues, and I do that often. In general, I think it’s fair to say that when I’m interacting on text messaging with my colleagues, I’m acting as one of their contemporaries as a Minister..


  39. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Absolutely. And you’ll see that in these exchanges, I’m in no way saying we need to direct the police. The Ipperwash Inquiry was clear in that regard, although we identify, as a government, according to that Inquiry, priorities for us. But we can, in no way, make operational decisions for police of jurisdiction.


  40. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  41. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I believe so. And I would add I spoke to the Province of Ontario as well.


  42. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Actually, that I -- I'm not going to accept that. I know that he is interacting with Minister Blair, and I presume at this stage that Brenda Lucki is having a role in these interactions. So I'm in no way certain that he is directly interacting with the OPS. I know that he's interacting with the Ontario Government, I know that he's interacting with Minister Blair and Minister Lucki [sic], but it's not a fair presumption to say that I know he's got direct - --


  43. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  44. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    With political actors, yes.


  45. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I knew he was having those relationships. But you had mentioned the OPS ---


  46. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- and that's quite different.


  47. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It's definitely an Operational decision. Remember, I'm interacting here as a colleague and Minister of Justice around the Cabinet table, I'm not interacting as Attorney General. Minister Mendicino and I have a close relationship, there's some banter here, there's some humour here. That's a reference to my favourite Christmas movie, the "quick, quick, quick" part, and so I think we could take the temperature down here. We, as the Government, according to the Ipperwash Report, can identify our priorities to police services, that's the role that a Minister of Public Safety has, in this case, possibly also the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, but we can't make Operational decisions, we know that. And remember, I'm not the one interacting with the police, and I'm assuming that Minister Mendicino is working with Cabinet colleagues on a level of principle.


  48. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  49. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    He's the Attorney General for Ontario.


  50. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    This is also a different conversation with a counterpart in Ontario ---


  51. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- with whom I have a very productive working relationship, but this is not the banter that one has between friends with the same sense of humour.


  52. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In all cases. I mean, I think I'm probably, in most contexts, probably closer to Minister Blair in the answer that I'm going to give, although there will be some contexts where I might move towards a more flexible answer. In all cases, the Operational decisions will be made by the police of jurisdiction. In all cases. What I was referring to in the Ipperwash Report, and what the Ipperwash Report was referring to is legitimate for Government to say "We have an important public security situation here, we need to have something done about it." And then it ends there; right? And then it's up to the police of jurisdiction to take care of it. The scenario that you have given me is forcing me to choose or to articulate my priority as, in this case, a member of the Federal Government, to say "We need something done in X place or Y place", and I think the inference in your question is that there is a -- there may be a different priority elsewhere.


  53. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  54. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It's always going to be, first of all, the Solicitor General of Ontario in the jurisdiction that we're talking about right now who is going to articulate that priority. And then, again, the operational decisions were going to be made by the police. So we're an input into that decision-making process in the province. So I'm probably closer to Minister Blair on that, although there will be, I believe, situations that -- where we may have to say as a federal government, "Look, something is quite urgently happening here. We urge you to do something." But in all cases, it depends on the police of jurisdiction to make operational decisions.


  55. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I guess what I would say is I would commend everyone to read the Ipperwash report, quite frankly, because it's nuanced and tries to deal with the variety of these kinds of situations.


  56. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Fair point.


  57. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, it's -- I'll be honest with you, it's hard for me to answer hypothetical questions. I am suggesting to my colleagues that we make our priorities known to the Solicitor General of Ontario in a situation where a number of people felt Ottawa was being neglected with respect to the occupation that was happening on Parliament Hill. I'd rather, to be honest, as a prudent Attorney General, I would rather avoid giving public legal opinions on hypothetical situations. But the nuance is there in the report. It isn't, I believe, a black or white answer, other than to say that operational decisions will always be made by the police of jurisdiction. The identification of priorities is a much more complex matter.


  58. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Counsel, do you mind if I see them? This is going to be ---


  59. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- very difficult for me to ---


  60. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  61. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, it is.


  62. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can see the first point. I'll wait and ---


  63. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- on the second but -- -


  64. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- certainly ---


  65. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  66. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's right, and I'm giving my Chief of Staff a heads up that this is what I will be asking at a meeting, a Cabinet meeting later. So I'm asking him to send out appropriate feelers to people who can answer this question to -- so that we can have the most up-to-date information at a meeting that I'm going to participate in.


  67. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It's more that I want the people at the IRG to be able to answer those questions.


  68. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It bears repeating that this is a rapidly evolving situation with imperfect information. It's an unprecedented situation, and we are all doing our best to try to get the information that we need to make appropriate decisions under the circumstances. And I think this is what I'm doing. I work closely with my Chief of Staff in that regard and other members of my team and other members around the Cabinet table in order to do that.


  69. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's true.


  70. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    To be honest, it’s vague, but you are reminding me.


  71. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s fair. I remember Mr. Borovoy’s work. Although, I must admit, I was following the Charter and the creation of the Charter more closely than I was following this.


  72. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can only base -- I’ll take your word. I can only base what I see in the Act and the rules of thumb that we see from people from CSIS who have testified. So I think that’s right.


  73. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s right. The potential power was great, and therefore seemed to be very serious.


  74. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  75. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s fair.


  76. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  77. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct. It’s an incorporation by reference.


  78. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s right, but it is only the starting point.


  79. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, do you mind if I just interject one minute? What Parliament did not do with the creation of the Emergencies Act was delegate the decision making by CSIS. So there’s an incorporation by reference to the standard that’s contained, or the definition that’s contained in the CSIS Act. So there’s a conveyance of the magnitude, if you will, or the seriousness of the standard or the threshold, but they did not delegate the decision making, and again, I’m not -- I’m speaking here as a jurist. I’m not speaking in any way as the Attorney General giving advice to the Government. I’m just giving my ---


  80. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah. This is ---


  81. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    So this is -- I’m just drawing my own inferences here. But there is -- there’s a magnitude or a seriousness conveyed in that. But the decision-making power is always in the hands of Cabinet, in the Governor-in-Council in the Emergencies Act, as well as other framing provisions that need to happen for the invocation of a national emergency. So there is a definition that is incorporated by reference. It’s moved into the Emergencies Act and the decision-making power remains with Cabinet. So there’s also a purpose change. What CSIS is doing is determining whether a threshold is met for the purposes of further investigations, generally clandestine, according to CSIS protocols, with warrants, et cetera, they’re all -- you’ve heard testimony already from the CSIS Director, as well as Madam Tessier, about the rules of thumb that CSIS uses for proceeding in their analysis under section 2. That isn’t incorporated in here because the decision maker is different. And the inputs can be much wider - - have to much wider when you’re a member of Cabinet, when you’re making a decision Governor-in-Council. There are other inputs that can go into the meeting of that definitional standard that CSIS wouldn’t normally use. And so that’s very, very important to underline, that it is -- while it is the same standard of the same magnitude, the interpretation of that standard is being done according to a wider set of criteria by a very different set of people with a different goal in mind, and that goal is given by the Emergencies Act and not the CSIS Act.


  82. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I am indeed.


  83. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I try not to make them, but go right ahead.


  84. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Even if it -- delegation is one end of the extreme, but even if -- even using the same standard, or purporting that it be the same standard that is contained, the actual substantive standard that's contained in the CSIS Act is effectively doing the same thing.


  85. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No, not exactly, because there's been evolution of the Act. You've heard from CSIS, how they interpret that provision, and it's markedly different in terms of the goals that CSIS has in order to investigate Canadians and others on Canadian soil. And so there's a very serious, and you pointed it out yourself, sir, in the preparatory statements that you made about the CSIS Act and citing Mr. Borovoy. There's a very serious matter going on here when we are allowing a Canadian agency to investigate Canadians on Canadian soil. It is -- and the rules of thumb that they have developed since that time are very, very different, I think, I would suggest, than the kind of decision that we had to make under the Emergencies Act. And I would suggest that proper rules of statutory interpretation gets me to this conclusion.


  86. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's right.


  87. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The threshold, as applied, as you've seen in testimony before this Commission, has evolved. The rules of thumb for interpreting that have evolved. The purpose of that Act is very different. So while the words were incorporated ---


  88. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- and I would -- I have put to you the magnitude of importance was conveyed, and the kind of threat was conveyed, given a different decisionmaker, given a broader set of inputs, the very same words will have, not a wider meaning, but can be -- will have a wider area of interpretation, according to the very structure of the Emergencies Act. And I think that is the interpretation that I would put to you as the one that best bears out in practice and is correct.


  89. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  90. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's fine.


  91. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can indeed.


  92. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  93. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  94. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The facts, yes.


  95. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It is true that there is more in that section 58.


  96. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Now, you're pushing me to an area where this may or may not have been covered by a legal opinion or -- but you're pushing me to a point where I am going to rely on solicitor/client privilege.


  97. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I'll leave the argument to be made by our lawyers.


  98. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, I'm actually not comfortable. I'm not sure I accept the premise of your organisation of this section 58 itself. I'm not sure -- I don't believe you've had experience drafting one, I think this was the first time. So I think what is important is what is in section 58, which are the facts upon which the Governor-in- Council based its decision. And for the rest, the legal argument and legal interpretation, I will leave that to my lawyers and rely on solicitor/client privilege.


  99. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think you’re -- I think the section 58 text speaks for itself, that we were -- as the law requires, we put out the reasons for which we arrived at the conclusions we arrived at, and the conclusions are there. As for the process that got us to those conclusions, I’m going to leave that to the final argument of my lawyers. That pushes me into an area where I can’t really answer the question without infringing on solicitor/client privilege. So you’re putting me in an awkward position, ---


  100. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- and I’m going to -- I’m going to have to rely on that privilege.


  101. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In addition to this proceeding, there are other legal proceedings, upon judicial review, for example. So it would be derelict of my duties as Attorney General to pronounce on that here. I’m going to let lawyers in each particular context, whether it be here or whether it be in those other proceedings, I’m going to let them do that, as they should.


  102. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The Commission will find the factual basis for it in the section 58 report.


  103. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The factual basis will be in the section 58 report, and that is outlined there.


  104. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good morning.


  105. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good to meet you.


  106. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you.


  107. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And in part the common law, so the Department of Justice Act in particular with respect to the formal roles.


  108. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  109. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s fair. There are nuances in terms of how that plays out, but, yes, that’s fair.


  110. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  111. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Indeed it does.


  112. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I’m not particularly aware of that. Normally the Parliamentary privilege is dealt with by others, such as the Clerk, and that’s an ongoing discussion. So I’m not aware of the particulars of that ruling.


  113. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    A reasonably good one, yes.


  114. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, reasonably good understanding.


  115. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I will not confirm or ---


  116. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I will neither confirm nor deny that. I spoke giving an opinion based on the text of the Act.


  117. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That is, as I was careful to point out at the time, that that was neither a waiver nor a confirmation of any advice that was given based on that text and based on the facts that were given. I took great care to not link the two, and I have no comment on what Ms. Thomas said. I will leave that to our lawyers to discuss in final argument.


  118. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I reviewed documents, yes.


  119. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, ---


  120. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    But once again, that’s a question that’s asking me to effectively divulge legal arguments. I remind my learned that it is very odd to put a lawyer on the stand. I’m really here as ---


  121. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- a cabinet minister in order to speak to facts.


  122. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And it is, to some extent, an obligation for me to try to answer questions as best I can, but ---


  123. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- you’re asking me to answer questions as a lawyer and it is -- it would be remarkable to put a lawyer up on the stand in the middle of a ---


  124. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, I’m going to rely on solicitor-client privilege.


  125. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s not true. Solicitor-client privilege is not mine to waive. It is up to the Governor-in-Council to waive.


  126. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I could advise on that, yes.


  127. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I would remind counsel that this is a -- this is a right that the Supreme Court of Canada has set as a quasi-constitutional right. It is fundamental for good governance, as it is fundamental for any relationship between a solicitor and a client, that the solicitor be able to give full and frank legal advice, including all its warts, to a client. In my case, the client is the Government of Canada and my cabinet colleagues, and the Department of Justice needs to be able to tell truth to power. In order to do that, I have to rely -- I have a responsibility to rely on solicitor-client privilege, and the Supreme Court has effectively held that this is one of the highest forms.


  128. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, I am -- you’re asking me to give legal advice ---


  129. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- or advice that I might have given to the Governor-in-Council.


  130. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)


  131. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I am -- I am -- in this case, I can’t distinguish because of the dates and the context that you’ve given me. You’re asking me to apply facts to law and I can’t do that without breaching solicitor-client privilege. I’m not sure if you’ve understood point.


  132. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  133. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And if you were to ask me the factors that were going on, the events that were going on across Canada that I deemed to be important as a member of that cabinet, I would answer the question, but you’re asking me to interpret facts through the law, which is the kind of advice an attorney would give, and I won’t do that.


  134. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, I am -- you’re asking me a hypothetical question. I would -- in probably virtually all cases advise that it shouldn’t be waived simply because it is such an important fundamental principle.


  135. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I only know of one example.


  136. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Would you read me the provision of the Act or show me the provision of the Act, please?


  137. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I get 38 and 29 mixed up.


  138. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Please show me.


  139. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I really would like to see the text.


  140. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Again, there are a number of ---


  141. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- numerous texts that I read on a day-to-day basis and I would like to see the text.


  142. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Cabinet confidence is wider than simply what is discussed at cabinet and the recorded version of those but, with that caveat, yes.


  143. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That -- that’s -- again, that’s a legal opinion you’re asking me to give on a controversial point.


  144. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you.


  145. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  146. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  147. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Right, okay.


  148. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good afternoon.


  149. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  150. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, in addition to changing where I was living in Ottawa as well. I won’t say where in either case, but I had to change where I lived, too, for the time I was up here.


  151. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, I felt personally threatened. When you walk -- when you walked through the convoy and saw some of the banners, saw the prime minister hanging off the end of a rope, for example, violent -- violent images, and you saw some of the rhetoric that was coming out from the protesters, they -- sorry, I shouldn’t say protestors because it wasn’t much of a protest -- the occupiers, and when you saw what the occupiers were doing to my staff and the experiences that they were coming in with, at one point I said, “I’m going to Montreal. We’re going virtual,” because I didn’t want to put my staff at risk to have to come into work. All of that made me feel threatened. It only takes one person to recognize me, and I’m often alone, and I would have been vulnerable.


  152. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  153. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, I am.


  154. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s right.


  155. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  156. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, that’s right. I mean, a number of friends who live in the Ottawa with whom I am very close.


  157. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Absolutely true. I mean, the Rideau Centre was closed. Again, I'm not going to disclose where I live, but it's something that I see often. I saw other businesses impacted, and I saw and heard from people who were impacted whose movements changed. And I could see that, as you have said, with my own eyes.


  158. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  159. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  160. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very much so.


  161. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  162. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very much so.


  163. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  164. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, indeed.


  165. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In part, yes. I mean, I also witnessed as an Ottawa resident OPS officers standing idly by while people wheeled cans of gasoline down Wellington Street.


  166. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I have not.


  167. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I do have interaction with police services for reasons of personal security.


  168. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In police operations, no, but I've got friends who are police officers.


  169. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    All I was trying to do, Counsel, was to say that Chief Sloly's concerns also included a number of other things that weren’t on my purview.


  170. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I'm not criticizing Chief Sloly.


  171. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah. As I said, that was in the heat of the moment. We were all living through a difficult situation, and I'm a human being. I do have personal opinions. I will happily walk that back in the light of hindsight.


  172. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    But it is the frustration that I felt at the time.


  173. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  174. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s absolutely right.


  175. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I take that point.


  176. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  177. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    To what are you referring?


  178. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct. And as I said, it was a humorous reference to a ---


  179. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s fair.


  180. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I will say though, Counsel, that it was very frustrating that we were promised plans or plans were forthcoming or plans were in the offing and that didn’t seem to materialize.


  181. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Just wanted to know the existence of it.


  182. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Not the details, but ---


  183. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- we were getting reports from the Commissioner of the RCMP ---


  184. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- about the OPS and its development of a plan.


  185. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can't speak to that. I'm not in a position to say.


  186. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Absolutely right.


  187. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, it was -- no, it was more that the priority -- the reason why I reached out was there was a perception that Ontario was not looking at or not dealing with federal counterparts ---


  188. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- and that the solicitor general should be at the table with others. That was it. it wasn’t -- it had no way -- it wasn’t in any way meant to direct them, but we could identify priorities across Ontario, and there were many.


  189. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    My understanding is that as a matter of jurisdiction Wellington Street was a provincial jurisdiction.


  190. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can't speak for Ontario on that.


  191. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good afternoon.


  192. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you, Counsel. Thank you for that question. It is a long question, and a complicated one. I guess the easiest way is to say yes, from the outset, that I do think that we need to move towards, and we need to move quickly towards a series of practices, procedures, and principles that make consultation with, cooperation with, even co-policing with Indigenous peoples part and parcel of what we do in every situation, including emergencies. The Emergencies Act itself didn't have a consultation requirement with Indigenous peoples, that's just a result of the day -- the years in which it was drafted, I think, and the difference sensibilities at the time. That's something I would commit to change if -- as we move forward from, we'll get the report from Commissioner Rouleau, and we will see what recommendations are in there. But I do think that we need to have a more formally incorporated consultation requirement in the Emergencies Act with respect to Indigenous peoples. We did that informally, the Minister of Crown and Indigenous Relations did reach out in this case to the heads of the three national Indigenous organisations, but it could be better done down the road, and it needs to be more sensitively tailored to different nations, regions, and Indigenous organisations as we move forward.


  193. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Okay. We are developing the action plan as we speak, and we're working hard with the variety of forms of Indigenous leadership across Canada to decide together how we move forward, so which laws to change according to Article 5 of UNDRIP. I suspect the Emergencies Act will be one of them. But I can also tell you that my colleague, Minister Mendicino, as the Minister of Public Safety, is working very hard with questions of reforming Indigenous policing or peacekeeping or the better policing of Indigenous nations and peoples by police officers, whether Indigenous or not Indigenous, and that will wrap into how we move forward.


  194. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you.


  195. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can indeed.


  196. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I am, but then the CSIS Director did go on to say that he supported the invocation of the Emergencies Act in this context.


  197. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I disagree with that. I have already, with counsel in a descriptive way, again, I'm -- I should start with the initial caveat that I am not going to -- I'm going to be careful with respect to solicitor/client privilege. I'm not going to link facts to arguments in a way that can be -- that can impute the kind of legal advice I may or may not have given or may or may not have been given to me in this process. And I have to maintain that privileged argument. But I think you have heard from a series of witnesses this week, including Mr. Vigneault, including the exchange I had earlier with counsel, that the incorporation by reference of section 2 of the CSIS Act into section 16, given the different purposes of the CSIS Act, given the different goals that CSIS has with respect to why it is using a section 2 definition for one of its investigations in order to get to further inquiries, is different from the context in which it has been incorporated into the Emergencies Act, and the decision- making body is different. It is not CSIS, it is the Governor in Council. So there is wider, as you've heard from a number of different witnesses this week, there is a wider set of inputs that are more than just CSIS inputs. You've also heard from CSIS about the specific rules of thumb that they use in order to interpret section 2, which aren't necessarily imported into section 16 because it's a different decisionmaker.


  198. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And for the purposes of CSIS in the CSIS Act, yes, I'll agree with that.


  199. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Indeed I would.


  200. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well the client is the Government of Canada. The -- and I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school when I say that in closing argument, I believe these kinds of questions will be addressed by counsel.


  201. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I’d prefer it smaller, so that I can see the context, please.


  202. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    This is fine. It’s fine the way it is.


  203. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    So what I’d like to do is I would like to go through Hansard and have him confirm what the understanding was in terms of what Hansard said about why they used the CSIS Act definition and incorporate it into the Emergencies Act.


  204. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The point that I was going to make, Commissioner Rouleau, was in the very next paragraph, which was the CSIS definition is embedded in the Emergencies Act and it must be read in conjunction. And that changes the scope, and the decision maker has changed, and that’s all, really, I’m comfortable saying.


  205. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s certainly your point of view.


  206. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I ---


  207. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s fine. Thank you.


  208. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Can I see the top of the document, please, first? Okay.


  209. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can confirm to you that he still is my Director of Communications.


  210. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I'm not a party to the email, so I'll take your word for it.


  211. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That is correct. That's what it says.


  212. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That would be the timing of it.


  213. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I do.


  214. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    You're completely off base.


  215. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    See, the communications teams -- I mean, first of all, I'm not party to the email, but the decision-making process was tracking. The decision -- the final decision was not made until the Prime Minister did, but communications teams will prepare for the eventuality that this might happen. I have seen in my political career in the past seven year ---


  216. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No, you asked me the question ---


  217. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- sir.


  218. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I've seen ---


  219. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- I have seen in my political career tracking announcements. You see the word tracking?


  220. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Tracking announcements get completely pulled at various stages, including the last minute.


  221. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    So you cannot ---


  222. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- you cannot read ---


  223. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No, but you want the context of this email because ---


  224. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well ---


  225. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- I would like ---


  226. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- to give you the context of it.


  227. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I ---


  228. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- I disagree ---


  229. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- strongly that this means absolutely nothing in terms of ---


  230. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- decision making.


  231. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Is 11:05 the time, because there have been some emails that ---


  232. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    As I had said, the communications teams will be preparing for the possibility that there will be announcement. They do not go with it unless it happens, and ---


  233. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- but they do have to prepare -- they do have to prepare. They're doing their jobs. They do have to prepare. I'm sorry that you don't ---


  234. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- like that answer ---


  235. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- but it is the truth.


  236. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I'm not a party to the email so ---


  237. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- I'll take it in terms of what it says, but they're just planning for their job - --


  238. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- quite frankly.


  239. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, I do.


  240. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  241. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, but it's all hypothetical because if ---


  242. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- because I have seen -- and you can put it to me and I'll give you the answer, which is ---


  243. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- they're not final until it's final. I have seen these announcements pulled five seconds before it's supposed to happen. They are preparing in order that it might happen. That is their job. That's why I pay David Taylor. And same is true for PMO communications and everyone else.


  244. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's good governance. We're preparing for the eventuality that it will happen, but it does not happen until the final decision's made.


  245. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I made remarks only after the final decision was made.


  246. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  247. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    He's not a member of Cabinet, so I'm not going to confirm or deny that. He's a colleague, he's a Caucus colleague. This was -- if you scroll up, please ---


  248. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- this was after a Caucus call, so those are his reflections after a Caucus call. They are, I think, a good reflection in Mr. Fergus's view ---


  249. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- of what this was. And I think this confirms, quite frankly, that a decision had -- a final decision had not been taken even though ---


  250. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- even though, I must admit, that I was now at the point by February 13th where I thought the Emergencies Act should be invoked.


  251. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It is -- I prepared my colleagues from the beginning for the possibility that this would happen, as a good Attorney General would do, as a good Minister of Justice would do, from my experience from the pandemic where I also prepared my colleagues, and we didn't use it. By the time we got to this last -- this third weekend, I had come to that conclusion. That's evident here. But as you can see, no decision had been taken.


  252. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  253. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It is indeed, and I -- and although we did have the votes, and although the vast majority of senators understood that they were being asked to vote on the Emergencies Act at the time at which it was invoked, there were a number that didn’t understand that. We had said from the beginning, sir, that we would not keep the Act a minute than we needed to. It’s something we said to the NDP, and it’s something that we said to senators. And I’m being completely consistent here to say that we needed to be ahead of that in terms of keeping our promise in order to -- in order to not keep the Act in place a minute longer than necessary, and that’s precisely what we did.


  254. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I reject that premise. There are other -- there are other text messages that you will see where have predicted that we had sufficient votes.


  255. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you.


  256. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Pleased to meet you.


  257. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    As am I.


  258. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very much so, yes.


  259. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, it was a political application of the various textual rules based on facts that we had, so ---


  260. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- it’s made by -- what I meant -- what I mean there is it’s made by political actors. It’s made by the Governor-in-Council.


  261. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Could I see that text, please, because I think you’re reading something in that doesn’t represent what I thought.


  262. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, I meant -- I meant -- I mean there, and the context now makes it clear, that it’s made by political actors, so the Governor-in-Council. It’s not made by -- it’s not made, for example, by CSIS.


  263. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And it’s -- and I have now clearly -- I’ve clearly stated in that what the inputs were, and I think it makes it clear. So when I say a “political” one, I mean it’s a decision made by political actors, but it’s not a -- it’s not a political decision in the sense that I think you were understanding.


  264. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Amongst other things, yes.


  265. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Have the potential, yes, but of course the Emergencies Act is subject to the charter and, as you have quite rightly mentioned, part of my role is to make sure that whatever we do is charter compliant.


  266. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  267. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I do.


  268. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I do.


  269. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Oh, no, it’s fine. I have -- I believe I have answered to the point that I can answer with previous counsel, so ---


  270. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- I’m not sure I can add anything else. If you want me to repeat myself, I will ---


  271. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- but it’s your time.


  272. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  273. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    This is a news release.


  274. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It isn’t meant to be comprehensive.


  275. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Right. I would put to you that it’s not misleading, although it’s ---


  276. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    --- although you may have wished to have more technical detail as a lawyer, but it is not misleading in terms of its general direction.


  277. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s true.


  278. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  279. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s -- that may be true for some, but they were participating in an unlawful protest. They were participating in a protest that was trampling on the rights of other Canadians, the section 7 rights to security. They were having a negative impact on mental health. They were having a negative impact on people's mobility, both in urban areas like Ottawa but also at border crossings. As a group, they were harassing Canadians, and there were threats of violence. We saw a plot uncovered in Coutts, Alberta. There were reports of violence, reports of guns possibly present in Ottawa, and there was the tracking of potential IMVE throughout. So they were participating in that, and despite messaging to try to say, "Go home," people weren’t listening.


  280. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    So this was not a legal protest by any stretch of the imagination. It was quite illegal and the Emergencies Act dealt with it.


  281. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, I grant you that possibility.


  282. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  283. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    They always had the option to go somewhere else to protest legally. When the blockade was cleared, people moved down the street, Wellington Street in Ottawa towards Booth and they protested on the side of the road, not impeding traffic, not impeding pedestrians, manifesting their political beliefs, waving signs. That was completely legal. Throughout all of this, those people had an option to move to protest legally, and they didn’t.


  284. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, I think that’s right. The language used, to my recollection, was generally mandatory, but nobody would have quibbled with discretion, had it been applied. Again, this is a hypothetical situation. I don't know any cases where this actually happened.


  285. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No, where discretion may have been applied.


  286. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That may be true. There was anecdotal evidence though that the measures put into place had the impact of inciting people to go home and to take their trucks home.


  287. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s right.


  288. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s right. What -- I mean, I chose language that I probably shouldn't have used in the framing of this. What I meant to say is that if you happen to live in the United States and you're supporting what's going on in Canada, then you ought to be worried that these financial measures could kick in.


  289. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The other clarification I would also stand by with respect to the discretion -- and I think that was a legitimate follow-up question to which we gave a legitimate clarification.


  290. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Absolutely right. And I'm glad you asked that because it allows me to say that we took targeted, time-limited, temporary measures that focused on specific areas of the occupation that we needed to get at, the financing as well as the geographical definitions and a few other things. The measures we took were specific to the blockades, they were time limited. I believe they passed Charter muster and they were quite proportional to the task at hand, and I think in -- this is the one time I will go to hindsight -- they worked quite well and quite efficiently.


  291. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  292. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Oh, I was actually just thinking.


  293. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good afternoon.


  294. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Pleased to meet you.


  295. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, I was.


  296. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I am indeed.


  297. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I have seen parts of it, and I now have it in front of me.


  298. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I am.


  299. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I'm aware of that as well.


  300. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, and it's certainly consistent with the information that we were getting, both from Windsor and other places.


  301. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very much so, including even after the bridge was cleared later that day and the next day. We were monitoring very closely what police reports were saying. There were reports that people were coming back or in fact when the blockades began to be cleared in Ottawa, that trucks would leave Ottawa and go to Windsor to the Ambassador Bridge. So we were monitoring all of that but it was very much alive in our concerns.


  302. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  303. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Absolutely. Absolutely. And I would add, as I stated with the previous counsel, that there was always the opportunity to conduct legal protests, but the method chosen had a deleterious effect on many, many other people.


  304. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, it undermines – it undermines the ability of people to live, to work, to function; it undermines their mental health; it undermines their sense of security. And that undermines our functioning democracy. It undermines the ability of decision-makers to make decisions, democratically elected decision-makers to make decisions. And you can agree or disagree but there is a process for disagreement and that process has served our country well since its inception. This completely undermines that. It’s the rule of the mob as opposed to the rule of law.


  305. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Right. I knew that.


  306. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I would add that nobody has a monopoly on irony.


  307. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you. I agree with every word that Chief Justice Morawetz has written here. Rights are not absolute and one’s own individual rights go as far as they do not detrimentally effect the rights of others, it’s always a balance. With respect to peaceful protests, there’s always going to be a bit of inconvenience for a short period of time, but when you lock in and you block people from living and working and sleeping at night because you’re honking your horns or can’t get your children to school or to the hospital because you’ve impeded traffic, or you’ve blocked a bridge in Windsor that is vital for the economy of not just south western Ontario, but the whole country, and the impact that that has on families and on mental health and stress that it puts on people, all of that is so far beyond the legitimate exercise of free speech and freedom of expression, particularly when there’s always an option to do it legally in a time and place and space that doesn’t have that deleterious impact on other people.


  308. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you.


  309. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I can indeed. Good afternoon.


  310. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  311. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, in terms of operations, but there are larger decisions where at the very least, according to what was written in the Ipperwash Report, governments can make their priorities known in certain contracts, particularly these kinds of emergency context.


  312. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s right.


  313. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, indeed. Although as I’ve pointed out it is legitimate for the Government to ask that there be a plan in existence.


  314. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  315. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s true.


  316. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s right. And a I had said, even conversations later on the 14th indicated that we were still worried that continued occupations might be reasserted of the Ambassador Bridge.


  317. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  318. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct as well.


  319. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I was receiving indirectly the news that an operation would happen but no detail provided to me directly.


  320. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  321. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It was information we received around the Cabinet table, often through the RCMP Commissioner or I believe it’s also possible through the National Security Intelligence Apparatus. But I’m pretty sure it was mainly Commissioner Lucki.


  322. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, there were.


  323. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, it was based on a report that I would have gotten from Minister Mendicino saying that although the bridge had been cleared, traffic hadn’t been -- it wasn’t yet open to traffic at the time I was texting.


  324. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Good afternoon.


  325. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In part. I was also referring to inconsistency. For example, applying insurance measures across the country. That’s one o the reasons why we invoked the Emergencies Act in order to get to that particular solution.


  326. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, certainly a number of people felt in the public space that ticketing wasn’t happening, for example, when it could have been happening. Rigs could have been ticketed as an example. So yes, that’s possible.


  327. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, it was certainly something that I took into account.


  328. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Certainly possible.


  329. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very well.


  330. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Not at all. What we’re doing is we’re assessing facts on the ground in order to determine whether there is a national emergency and whether, according to the Emergencies Act provincial laws are adequate to the task. That includes whether there are gaps in provincial laws or whether there is a necessary -- or whether there is a non-application of laws. I mean, I could give you examples but it’s your time. So it’s really just an assessment of the adequacy of the current state of laws both in terms of their use or their non-use as a way of determining whether we’ve met the threshold for the Emergencies Act.


  331. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Oh yes, they are. And I'm not being judgmental about the non-use. I’m just saying that’s a factor. It’s a fact on the ground. I’m not being judgmental about the non-use at all.


  332. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, that’s true. But we had a situation, for example -- I saw with my own eyes the licence plates of the rigs that were sitting on Wellington Street in Ottawa. And they came from across the country. And in order for a number of the financial measures that we put into place to work, we needed national application. And although a number of those measures fell within provincial jurisdiction, I think it was quite a reasonable observation on our part to have come to the conclusion that not every province would have put these measures into place in order for us to implement these kinds of financial measures. So again, it’s not a -- it’s a question of efficacy and using -- creating a useful tool that will fill a gap. It’s not a judgement on the operational plans of any province.


  333. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct.


  334. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Oh absolutely. But we’re talking about an emergency here, a temporary limited measure with very specific purposes.


  335. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    And my short answer is No, I don’t agree that -- with the way you’ve characterized it.


  336. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I would suggest you read the Emergencies Act which says to examine the laws that exist and fill in gaps in that matter. And ---


  337. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s fair. But it’s not something one does lightly.


  338. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    You need to replace the portrait of the Sovereign as well.


  339. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  340. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No. But this was quite extraordinary. We’d already seen a weekend of a blockade which wasn’t going anywhere soon. So this was -- this is just prudence on my part.


  341. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think towards -- as we moved into the -- the sense I got as we moved into the sort of 11th, 12th, 13th, of February it began to be serious. Certainly, for me, it was moving into that weekend that it became a serious possibility for me.


  342. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No. This exchange is meant to be a joke between two friends. CAF if necessary. The CAF is always the last resort under the National Defence Act, the very last resort, even after the Emergencies Act. So, in a sense, the Emergencies Act is the second-last resort. And I think it's fair, particularly as we moved along, that the CAF was not an option.


  343. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, I do.


  344. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No, it's actually between my Chief of Staff and Mr. Antoine. So I didn't write this text. But with my team, I was tracking the numbers, so with my Chief of Staff and my Director of Parliamentary Affairs.


  345. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I believe he is the Chief of Staff to the Government leader in the Senate.


  346. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's right.


  347. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  348. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  349. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Emergency was over.


  350. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Something to that gist, yeah.


  351. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very true. We said from the beginning, when the emergency -- was objectively over. There we are. Pretty close. Notwithstanding the senate process. So we said from the beginning, we wouldn't leave it in place a minute longer than we had to. That's exactly what we did. We promised, as I said, the NDP that. We promised Canadians that and that's how we react.


  352. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I do.


  353. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yes, I did.


  354. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  355. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I did.


  356. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's right.


  357. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I note another person was insulting me in Italian, which is my mother tongue.


  358. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah, sadly, I did.


  359. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I believe they were. My team, both my constituency team, this was my constituency, and my Ministerial teams to routinely report any threats I receive.


  360. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That's correct.


  361. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Not to that degree. I have had threats. I have had threats online. My family has had threats from time to time and I have reported them from time to time. Often, I think from an anecdotal perspective, it's -- they're often a product of mental illness and that's a problem we need to fight. But there really was a market increase in the virulence and the threats, like, threat -- the threats to kill me, I think, are -- and the manner in which people would like to kill me have been, I think, they've accelerated immensely.


  362. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Very much so. In fact, at the beginning of the occupation, a number of us living fulltime or parttime in the Ottawa/Gatineau areas were worried that our addresses were going to be published online.


  363. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Thank you.


  364. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I read the transcript of it.


  365. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    In addition to the fact you’re asking me to comment on a conversation which I was not part of.


  366. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I’ll take that, thank you.


  367. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s correct, yes.


  368. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that’s fair. In response, I guess I would say that it is an emergency, that this an extraordinary set of powers which requires an extraordinary set of steps both before and after.


  369. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    That’s right.


  370. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Well, I -- it is -- I think that’s generally fair in the sense that I’ve always felt that governments had other -- had other tools at their disposal. That being said, I did join, as Attorney General, the injunction in the City of Ottawa in order to give complete coverage -- territorial coverage to the citizens seeking injunctive -- the citizens groups seeking injunctive relief because some of that would have been federal land, so I wanted to make sure that they had complete coverage. I guess it’s an old private lawyer’s bias that I see injunctions as a private law remedy for citizens to use in the courts. It is a public-law setting, and I understand that, but it is a remedy that citizens can use, and I think government has other tools.


  371. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    We did talk about it.


  372. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Fair point. It worked, I suppose, or had a positive role in Windsor. The question of who seeks an injunction, again it's not necessarily in the toolkit of the Federal Government if it's not on land that falls within federal jurisdiction or if the police of jurisdiction doesn't fall within federal authority, but it is -- it's definitely there as an option.


  373. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It depends on the nature of their agreement with the Federal Government and the RCMP. Some provinces have contractual policing and don't.


  374. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    But yes, it would be something that they would request of the government or the RCMP, the Federal Government.


  375. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think the question is probably best asked to Minister Mendicino in the sense that I believe there are agreements in place for the RCMP to move its effective resources around, and I know that's true in provinces where they have contractual policing arrangements. The relationship in Ontario, or Quebec for that matter, where you have multiple levels of policing, including provincial police forces I think would be different, but I can't say I know the answer to that.


  376. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  377. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)



  378. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I would take his word for it.


  379. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    It's a question that we can answer for you, sir. I can't answer the question offhand.


  380. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Yeah. I mean, I think we have done our best to provide all the information we can. The section 58 report effectively gives you the conclusions that we got to.


  381. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    The -- and the various factors identified in there, facts on the ground, as well as the testimony that you've received from my colleagues, but also including me and other officials, gives you a picture of the actual events that were causing us to move in the direction that we did. You've had some, through testimony, some indication of what the views of the legal standards were, and I'm hoping that our lawyers will make the legal argument to you in their final submissions about the legal basis for what we did, I would expect them to do that, and I'm hoping that that will give you a complete picture. I -- I've said this a number of times, but I do think we, in an unprecedented circumstance, made a reasonable series of decisions. We went through the various possibilities throughout. That's not something we touched in testimony today, but I know my colleagues have, looking at alternatives and trying to figure out what we could do as the Federal Government in these circumstances. And I do hope we have given the picture. It's awkward for me, as Attorney General, to be here as Attorney General. It would have been easier just to come as the Minister of Justice, but that is what it is, and it's awkward to have the legal arguments at the end I suppose.


  382. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I think that's fair.


  383. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    I understand.


  384. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    No, that's fine.


  385. David Lametti, Minister (GC-FIN)

    Merci. Bonne chance.