Canada Day 2022

Information for demonstrators

Chief Steve Bell's speaking points for City press conference, June 27, 2022

Thank you Mayor.

The Ottawa Police Service and its partners have built a comprehensive public safety plan to ensure all residents and visitors can celebrate Canada Day in the Capital this week.

This is expected to be a unique Canada Day, with larger crowds and a larger event footprint.

We developed our plans in the shadow of the unlawful protests and Rolling Thunder.

We have been speaking with community members and businesses. We are very aware of the lingering trauma and the concern about what they are hearing about these events.

We have been gathering intelligence, speaking with organizers and observing open source online commentary.

All of these factors have guided our planning.

Given what we know and what we are faced with, we have taken an enhanced and extended posture that starts well before the 1st of July and extends well past to ensure we properly protect our city. 

This will be no small task but together we will do everything within our power to keep our city and residents safe. 

Operational Plan

Our planning teams have been hard at work for weeks.

They have created an operational plan encompassing all levels of events, including:

  • The Canadian Heritage events at LeBreton Flats
  • Downtown core festivities, and suburban & rural community events
  • It also includes multiple lawful measures to manage demonstrations, protests and threats of occupation by convoys.

We have developed options for multiple scenarios. We are reaching out to our policing partners to gather the resources necessary.

Multiple police services including the OPP and the RCMP are coming forward with support. 

While we are receiving support, to staff this plan we have had to take unprecedented measures to ensure every available officer and police member is deployed.

I want to thank all police members – sworn and civilian – who will be working this event.

The priority for us is public safety.  This includes, the community, crowd and officer safety measures.

We have the people, skills and equipment to ensure that these events are safe and peaceful.

We expect there to be demonstrations. This is a right of all Canadians and it will be protected.

We will not accept unlawful behaviour and we will not allow vehicle-based demonstrations in the motor vehicle control zone.

Visitors and community members will see a significant police posture and presence throughout the city. 

This is necessary to support our ability to swiftly control the core for public safety reasons or support the city’s vehicle control zone.

We have multiple resources including public order units, traffic teams, tow trucks and quick response teams.

We are prepared to take decisive and lawful action to deal with threats, occupation attempts and other unlawful behaviour that we observe.

We have also been in regular contact with the Crown Attorney to ensure they understand our plans and are able to pursue criminal matters into the Courts and support charges.

We have authorities to enter public and private property on behalf of the property owner to remove anyone attempting to occupy or set up structures.

Officers are being briefed and informed of their authorities under multiple federal, provincial and municipal acts.

Any enhanced security posture is a balancing act for police.

We do not want to overshadow the festivities.

We are also aware that there is a great deal of public interest in our public safety planning.

We will ensure that residents are kept fully aware of all information we are able to provide.

This has been a hard two years and Canadians deserve to be able to recognize this day.

Canada Day is important for this country.

It gives us an opportunity to celebrate our country and reflect on how far we have come and how far we still need to go.

Our police service and our partners will be here to ensure we can all celebrate Canada safely.

To keep up with all important updates I encourage you to follow us on Twitter at Ottawa Police.

2022 Canada Day Public Safety Planning, June 17, 2022

The Ottawa Police Service is working with Canada Day organizers and our policing partners to implement a public safety plan that allows all Canadians and visitors to freely and safely enjoy the capital during this celebration.

The expectation is that this Canadian Heritage event will be larger than usual both in terms of crowd size and the footprint of the event. 

We are also expecting several large events throughout the Ottawa area to celebrate the day.

These factors, combined with an increased level of protests and demonstrations, are guiding our planning. There will be significant road closures and a major increase in police presence. We will be bringing multiple extra policing resources from several services.

An operational planning team, which includes intelligence gathering, has been working for weeks on this event.

Officers’ priority is on crowd and community safety.  They will be present and enforcing all relevant acts such as the Trespass to Property Act, the Liquor License Act, by-laws and the Criminal Code.

The focus of our operation is to ensure a safe and fun event.

We have received several questions about planned protests and other commentary online. We are aware of these discussions and are planning accordingly.

The right to lawful and peaceful demonstrations will always be protected.  

We will not allow for conditions that led to the unlawful protests in February to reoccur. We are applying lessons learned from the unlawful protest as well as the Rolling Thunder and associated protests to build our plan. At the City’s request, we will continue an approach that prohibits vehicle-based protests in areas in and around places of national significance. 

The Ottawa Police is continually assessing public safety dynamics and we ask the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 613-236-1222. Call 9-1-1 with life-threatening matters.

The operational planning team is mindful that we do not want to overshadow this important and celebratory event. We will have the resources and plan to respond to safety issues immediately.

The number one priority for all policing partners is public safety for everyone. 

Towed Vehicles

If your vehicle was towed because it was illegally parked, call 311 to reach Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services for further information.

If your vehicle was towed as part of an unlawful demonstration you will need to follow these steps:

  • You must attend 474 Elgin Street (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) with a valid driver's license to have your vehicle released.
  • If you are not the owner, you must provide proof that you have permission to drive the vehicle.

Once the tow fee payment has been received, you will receive a release form that tells you the location where the vehicle is being stored.

You must have the completed release form for the vehicle to be released to you.

Towing fees for vehicles towed due to involvement in an unlawful demonstration are as follows:

  • Regular tow (passenger vehicles, motorcycles):  $850
  • Heavy tow (transport trucks, motor homes):  $1,400

Payment made only be made by way of a bank draft made out to the Ottawa Police Service.

Vehicle owners will be responsible to pay for storage fees as charged by the tow company.

Information from our partners