The public inquiry investigating the federal government's unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act in February begins today in downtown Ottawa.

Parties to the inquiry including "Freedom Convoy" organizers, the prime minister, seven federal ministers, police forces and officials from all levels of government are expected to appear in the coming weeks.

Commissioner Paul Rouleau and his staff are expected to spend the first day presenting documents and evidence ahead of witness testimony starting Friday.

The hearings at Library and Archives Canada will be livestreamed and members of the public can share their views with the commission online.

The federal Liberals used the Emergencies Act for the first time to give authorities greater powers amid border blockades and the occupation of downtown Ottawa by protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and lockdowns.

The 1988 act requires that a public inquiry be held to review decisions to invoke it, and a report from the commission is mandated by early next year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2022.