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Manitoba Law Journal 46.2, 2023, p.81-89.


This article offers a brief response to the Final Report of the Public Order Emergency Commission by two authors who provided expert reports to the Commission. We focus on Commissioner Rouleau’s recommendation that the provinces and the federal government create a “major event management unit” to ensure “integrated command and control” of large events, and that governments clarify the scope of police power to create exclusion zones and to impose other limits on protest and assembly. We argue that nothing short of legislation on point would suffice to address problems of coordination among police agencies and the lack of clarity on public order police powers that arose in Ottawa and in other large events over the past two decades. We emphasize the need for public order legislation to address and protect the Charter rights of protestors, especially and including freedom of peaceful assembly.