Ontario Premier Doug Ford is trying to use parliamentary privilege as a shield to prevent him from testifying at an Emergency Act inquiry, according to new documents filed in federal court Tuesday.

Filings shared with OlxPraca by the Premier’s Office show that Ford, as well as former Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, hope to have their appeals heard by November 1.

If a judge sides with the Ford government, the prime minister could duck the hot seat and avoid testifying at an Emergency Act inquiry.

Neither Ford nor Jones appeared in the legislature during question period on Tuesday.

Read more:

Civil liberties group called on Doug Ford to testify at Ottawa’s emergency inquiry

The inquiry is investigating whether the use of sweeping legislation to end the occupation of downtown Ottawa by the so-called “freedom convoy” was justified.

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The commission formally issued a summons on Monday after the provincial government rejected several attempts to convince Ford to voluntarily participate.

Lawyers for the province argue that the subpoenas issued to Ford and Jones violated parliamentary privilege “by attempting to compel the testimony of members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in session.”

It says the summons “must be quashed.”

Read more:

Parliamentary privilege? How Ford is refusing to testify on the Emergency Act.

The concept of parliamentary privilege first emerged when the House of Commons in Great Britain was trying to carve out a distinct role for itself.

In practice, it exempts politicians in a few different respects.

It gives them freedom of speech, freedom from arrest in civil actions, and immunity from jury duty. Parliamentary privilege also exempts lawmakers from being subpoenaed as witnesses in court.

The filing indicated that — barring a successful court challenge — Ford is scheduled to testify before the commission on Nov. 10 at 9:30 a.m.

– With files from OlxPraca’ Rachel Gilmore

© 2022 OlxPraca, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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