FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The NCI is committed to accountability to and transparency with Canadians. Below are answers to common questions the Inquiry receives.
Please take a look through our website and, after you have read this FAQ, if you have any remaining questions about the NCI, we encourage you to send them here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CIC Board of Directors
1. What is the petition’s purpose? Is it a petition to the government?
Canadian citizens do not need any government’s permission to hold a public inquiry.
The NCI’s petition is made directly to Canadians themselves. Its purpose is to focus and showcase the broad support Canadians have expressed since 2020 for greater transparency and accountability regarding COVID-19 policies.
2. Why a citizen-led inquiry? Why not have government convene an inquiry?
To-date, no Canadian government has expressed any interest in holding themselves accountable through a public inquiry process and being transparent with Canadians regarding the merits and impacts of their COVID-19 policies.
Moreover, any government-led inquiry would necessarily mean government controlling the terms and being responsible for their own self-investigation. Canadians have expressed concerns with this model for decades. The unprecedented nature of the governments’ COVID-19 policies and their potential impacts strongly warrants a truly independent process.
3. Does the government need to approve or endorse the National Citizens Inquiry?
No. The NCI is citizen-led and funded initiative that is completely independent from government. The NCI will proceed whether federal or provincial governments endorse or criticize the initiative.
The NCI will be inviting and strongly encouraging government and other public sector officials to testify before the Commission.
1. Is the National Citizens Inquiry part of or related to the Public Order Emergencies Commission (POEC)?
No, the two are unrelated. The federal government invoked the Emergencies Act on February 14, 2022 in response to the “Freedom Convoy” demonstrations in Ottawa. It was revoked on February 23, 2022. As required by the Emergencies Act, a commission was automatically constituted to examine whether the government’s invocation of the Act was justified. POEC’s has no mandate to examine the government’s COVID-19 measures.
The NCI is a public inquiry created, led, and funded by Canadian citizens. It is not a government sponsored or directed inquiry (although government officials are invited to testify). The NCI’s mandate is much broader and examines the conduct of federal, provincial, and municipal governments’ COVID-19 policies.
2. Is the National Citizens Inquiry only examining the federal government’s conduct?
No. The NCI will examine the conduct of all levels of government, including the provincial and municipal governments.
3. How is the NCI similar to a government inquiry? How is it different?
The NCI’s Terms of Reference were developed to align with Canada’s various “Inquiries Act” legislation (federal and provincial governments have their own versions).
The NCI closely follows the structure of a Royal Commission:
- The NCI is led by an independent Commission consisting of five Commissioners
- The Commission selects their Chairperson
- The Commission has full autonomy over the investigation process, including the ability to ask witnesses questions and request documents
- Evidence may only be submitted under oath and subject to cross examination
- The Commission is supported with staff and resources to conduct their investigation
- The Commission is responsible for producing a report on their findings, including recommendations
The NCI is different from a Royal Commission in that:
- The party whose conduct is being examined (i.e., the government) is not selecting the commissioners, setting their mandate, and responsible for providing them with resources
- As the NCI is created by citizens, and not by legislation, it cannot compel individuals to testify or produce documents
1. How is evidence submitted? Who can testify?
Any Canadian, including experts and government officials, may request to testify. Once appointed, the Commission will set out detailed rules for accepting evidence.
Generally speaking, evidence may only be presented under oath and subject to vigorous questioning.
1. Is the National Citizens Inquiry funded by the Government?
No. The NCI is strictly funded by donations from Canadian citizens.
2. What is my donation used for?
The NCI is an ambitious, national-scale project that will feature hearings in locations from coast-to-coast. The NCI is primarily supported by hundreds of volunteers and is entirely funded by donations from Canadians.
Donations go towards the NCI’s operations costs, such as: venue rental and catering; promoting the NCI and communications (e.g., website, A/V equipment); Commissioner honorariums; Commissioner / Commission staff travel and lodging; and full or part-time administrative support staff.
Members of the Support Group and Regional Subcommittees are all volunteers. They do not receive any compensation for their work on those committees.
1. I signed the petition and/or donated to show support for the NCI, how will my privacy be protected?
We greatly appreciate your support for the NCI. Citizens Inquiry Canada has taken significant steps to ensure the privacy and the protection of personal information of all persons who sign the petition and/or donate.
When signing the petition, the default is anonymity and protecting your privacy.
- Please do note that if you consented to being contacted by us, you may receive emails from the NCI.
- Please also note that if you consented to having your support for the NCI made public, your name and province of residence may be displayed on our website.