“They didn’t just want to be heard. They wanted to be obeyed,” Trudeau told an independent public commission that examines the government’s use of powers.

“I am absolutely, absolutely calm and confident that I made the right choice in accepting the call.”

It was a rare appearance by a sitting prime minister at a public inquiry aimed at shedding light on the process that gave authorities extraordinary powers and whether decisions were made in a transparent and accountable manner.

The final report must be presented to the Canadian Parliament by February 20.

Trudeau cited the threat of serious violence and the lack of a credible policing plan for local police as reasons that prompted him to invoke the Emergency Act, which has not been used in its current form since it was created in the 1980s.

Civil liberties advocates argued that the police could have lifted the blockades using existing powers. Lawyers for the convoy organizers and others said Trudeau had not read the plan prepared by Ottawa police, and pointed out that one border was eliminated and another was criminally charged without using emergency powers.

Trudeau acknowledged that “not all tools were used” by police and said that was a problem. He said he would not have used emergency powers if someone had convinced him that the situation could have been resolved without them.

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