Freedom Convoy: Protests head into 4th straight weekend


Workers have put in new fencing in entrance of Parliament as Ottawa police say actions to take away “Freedom Convoy” demonstrators from the town’s downtown core will occur inside days.

The transfer comes after Ottawa police handed out notices on Wednesday, warning demonstrators that anybody blocking streets or aiding these in doing so is committing a criminal offense.

Protesters have camped out for weeks on Wellington Street, the place Parliament is situated, and in surrounding neighbourhoods to protest vaccine mandates and pandemic restrictions.

The metropolis is now making ready for its fourth straight weekend of demonstrations.

Interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell, who changed former police chief Peter Sloly this week following his resignation, advised metropolis council on Wednesday afternoon that the police plan “will take time” however Canadians can anticipate to see motion “in the coming days.”

“Every step will be considered and methodical,” he stated. “Some of the techniques we are lawfully able and prepared to use are not what we’re used to seeing in Ottawa, but we are prepared to use them and whatever means necessary to bring about the safest outcome and restore order.”

The Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP are at the moment aiding Ottawa Police by way of a newly established built-in command centre.

Bell additionally urged demonstrators to depart on their very own accord.

“This is an operation that will take time over a number of days to actually execute and achieve. Again, my deep desire is people leave our city,” he stated.

“Those that are occupying our city, get in your vehicles and go home. We’re starting to actually increase pressure on them and encourage them to leave our streets. My absolute hope is that they do that prior to us having to intervene.”

The newest warnings come following the federal authorities’s invocation of the Emergencies Act on Monday, marking the primary time it has been used since turning into regulation in 1988.

Police say beneath the act, anybody coming to Ottawa to affix the protests is breaking the regulation. However, many demonstrators refuse to depart even beneath the specter of dropping their industrial licences or having their automobiles seized.

In a dramatic flip of occasions on Wednesday, Ottawa metropolis council voted to oust the chair of its police services board, Diane Deans, whereas not less than one councillor known as for Mayor Jim Watson to resign.

Citizen appointee Sandy Smallwood, in addition to councillors Rawlson King and Carol Anne Meehan, have additionally resigned from the board.

These developments got here as sources advised CTV News Ottawa that Deans and the police providers board attempted to hire a new interim chief, former Waterloo police chief Matthew Torigian, with out competitors or informing council.

This, sources stated, led Watson to guide an effort to oust Deans from the board after providing her an opportunity to resign.

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated the federal authorities is not going to use pressure towards protesters — a choice that may in the end be made by police — the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa has urged mother and father to make “necessary alternate care arrangements” ought to they be separated from their children resulting from police actions.

The Emergencies Act prohibits kids from taking part within the protests and the help society says it is going to work to reunite households as quickly as doable.

Police have beforehand estimated that as many as one in four vehicles within the downtown core have kids in them.

The ongoing state of affairs in Ottawa has continued even after blockades throughout the nation have ended.

After officers dismantled a blockade on the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ont., and Detroit, police stated on Wednesday they intercepted another suspected convoy of trucks that deliberate to “reoccupy” it.

Other blockades in Emerson, Man., and Coutts, Alta., have since been cleared.

Police made no arrests in Manitoba however did cost members of a small group inside the bigger protest in Coutts, together with for alleged weapons and conspiracy to commit murder offences.

Police additionally arrested individuals in Surrey, B.C., following a protest close to the Pacific Highway border crossing with Blaine, Wash.

With recordsdata from CTV News and The Canadian Press

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