“Diagolon” founder Jeremy MacKenzie is testifying at the public inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act today, after petitioning the commission to share his testimony privately.
MacKenzie, who is speaking from a correctional facility in Saskatchewan where he is being held on unrelated charges, is testifying about his role in the “Freedom Convoy” protests last winter.
The inquiry has been tasked with investigating the events that led to the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act in February, as protesters blockaded downtown Ottawa and several Canadian border crossings.
Diagolon is a controversial online community that the Canadian Anti-Hate Network describes as a far-right separatist movement and an anti-government movement.
MacKenzie’s lawyer asked the commission to allow him to testify in private or under a publication ban.
That application was defeated after it was contested by a consortium of media outlets, including The Canadian Press.
MacKenzie was charged with assault, pointing a firearm, mischief and using a restricted weapon in a careless manner after police received a report about an alleged assault near Viscount, Sask., in November 2021.
He was also charged in Nova Scotia with 13 firearms offences in January, and with harassment and intimidation in March after an anti-mask protest outside the home of Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has also asked the RCMP to investigate MacKenzie after he talked about sexually assaulting Poilievre’s wife, Anaida, during a livestream in September.