Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.
We're ready to get started. That being said, there's always the possibility that we will have interpretation issues, so please be aware. If that happens, let me know and we will stop.
I want us to applaud our interpreters, who do a superb job. I just went to see them. It's hot and there's no ventilation in their little booth, where three of them are working with headphones on. I really have a lot of respect for their work. That said, we will try to be mindful of interpretation.
Given the new timelines, I would suggest that we spend an hour instead of an hour and a half with each of the panels. Would that be sufficient?
Do you think we should stick to an hour and a half instead, even if it means stopping before the second panel's time is up?
Mr. Chair, if I could, I'd like bring forward a quick motion so that we could have a replacement for Senator Boniface. Everybody has agreed with me verbally on this.
I would like to move that at any point when Senator Boniface would have had an opportunity to ask questions this evening, the time be allocated to Senator Busson instead, who has been sworn in—if there's agreement from the room.
I'm not necessarily convinced that we want to lessen the witnesses' testimony. That means that not everyone is going to get a chance to ask questions. This is a pretty serious responsibility we have. I'm prepared to sit for an extra hour.
If our witnesses are available, let's have them for the hour and a half each that we had originally planned. That is my proposal.
Unfortunately, we cannot sit for another hour. We have to be out of the room by 10 p.m. at the latest. Since an hour and a half for each panel would take three hours, we would not have time to complete the scheduled time with the last panel and chief of police Sloly.
I do not want to negotiate anything, I just want to advise you that at 10 p.m. we are getting kicked out.
If that's okay with you, I don't see a problem with it.
You are indicating that it's okay with you.
Therefore, we will spend an hour and a half with the first panel of witnesses, as planned.
Mr. Clerk, please notify Mr. Sloly of the situation so that he doesn't needlessly wait for us and to let him know that we will call him back.
I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 11 of the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency, which was created pursuant to the order of the House on March 2, 2022, and the Senate on March 3, 2022.
Today's meeting is taking place and a hybrid format pursuant to the House order of November 25, 2021.
I'd like to remind all those present in the room to follow the recommendations from public health authorities, as well as directives of the Board of Internal Economy to maintain health and safety.
Should any technical challenges arise, please advise me, as we may need to suspend for a few minutes to ensure all members are able to participate fully.
I also remind witnesses that an interpretation service is available to them.
To access it, please click on the globe icon at the bottom of your screen.
We now welcome our first witnesses. The commissioner, deputy commissioner and chief superintendent of the Ontario Provincial Police will appear during the first half of the meeting. That will be all, in accordance with the decision we just made.
I would therefore like to welcome the commissioner, deputy commissioner and chief superintendent of the Ontario Provincial Police.
You will have five minutes for your opening remarks.
Commissioner Thomas Carrique, you have five minutes.
I want to be sure that the public has access to the meeting webcast. I'm in contact with people who work with me, and they seem to be having trouble accessing the webcast. I want to make sure that the meeting is public.
Mr. Carrique, we're in the process of doing some checks, because we're having technical issues. There is no Wi‑Fi for the time being. We're in the process of checking that, so we ask that you please hold on for a moment.
I am joined here today by OPP deputy commissioner of field operations Chris Harkins and the chief superintendent, Carson Pardy, who was assigned to the integrated planning process.
Under the Ontario Police Services Act, the OPP has a unique dual mandate, providing frontline policing services to 328 municipalities across the province, as well as providing assistance and/or specialized support to municipal police services upon request.
As it relates to the “freedom convoy” and the associated illegal blockades in the city of Ottawa, the OPP's provincial operations intelligence bureau commenced reporting to our policing partners on January 13, 2022. As of January 22, daily intelligence reports focused on the convoy headed to Ottawa and the anticipated protest movements across the province. The intelligence reporting was shared with more than 35 Canadian law enforcement and security agencies.
As the convoy crossed the Manitoba-Ontario border and travelled across the province until it arrived in Ottawa on January 28, OPP officers professionally fulfilled their duties without incident. In support of the Ottawa Police Service, throughout the occupation, an increasing number of OPP officers and specialized resources from various services became engaged, ultimately contributing to an integrated plan and the establishment of a unified command.
Simultaneously, our members responded to many other convoys and demonstrations that consistently and repeatedly emerged in communities across Ontario, including but not limited to the critical blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, the blockade of Highway 402, and multiple other attempts to block Canada-U.S. land border crossings and demonstrations that posed a risk to the area of the Ontario legislature. In addition, from day one, when the convoy entered Ontario, we were responsive to requests for assistance from other municipal police services.
This was a provincial and national emergency that garnered international attention. In response, the OPP and more than 20 other police services from across the country—
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry but we're going to have to adjourn. Our proceedings are not being publicly broadcast in either the Senate or the House of Commons. In addition, we have some MPs and witnesses attending with the Zoom application. We will therefore have to reschedule this meeting for another time.
Mr. Chair, before we adjourn, with the number of committee meetings not going on tomorrow and Thursday, is it possible that we would have the resources to meet tomorrow afternoon sometime, or Thursday in between our votes?
I know that we've been struggling on the administrative side to get agreement on the dates for the fall, but I would put to the committee that we would look to perhaps add these two witnesses to our superhearings that we're contemplating in the fall. I think perhaps we're being a bit overly hopeful that we'll be able to squeeze this in tomorrow or the day after.
I'm wondering, through you, Mr. Chair, if we could have the clerk perhaps contemplate adding this to our superhearings in the fall .
Actually, we're not meeting the standards right now. Our proceedings are not being televised, when they are supposed to be. Also, some members of this committee are attending with Zoom.
Everything you're saying makes sense, but the only thing we can do is ask our whips to see if a room, clerks and interpreters are available tomorrow afternoon after Question Period. That's the best we can do. If not, we'll have to talk again over the summer to set up a meeting in the fall. For now, there's nothing more I can do.
I would be more minded to have a comprehensive meeting when we can more properly arrange it. I'm conscious of the fact that all of the House leaders from the various parties, I believe, are working hard to get through a lot on the legislative agenda tomorrow.
I'm being advised that House resources are going to be in short supply tomorrow. It would seem a bit overly ambitious to attempt to do it tomorrow.
Given that information from Arif, I would suggest that if we have any time today, we could talk about what the fall looks like as far as this supermeeting that Matthew speaks of. Do we have some dates that we can close in on to discuss what that is with everybody? At least we can start planning our calendars then.