Unlawful protest information and updates

Current road conditions are unsafe in the area bound by Laurier, Bronson, Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River (previously known as the secured area) due to snow, ice, barriers, etc. For public safety, the area is restricted to local traffic only.

Police officers are stationed in the area to notify local residents of unsafe conditions. 

City of Ottawa crews are working hard to rehabilitate streets between Laurier Ave and Wellington Street so streets in between are closed, but open to local traffic. There are no restrictions for pedestrians. 

This work may take several days as work is being hindered by snow and ice. 

Follow @Ottawa_Traffic or visit traffic.ottawa.ca for real-time info on street openings.

If your vehicle was towed

Special Meeting: Ottawa Police Services Board Agenda 56 - February 24, 2022

 Sparks St. Now Open to Pedestrians - Secure Area Further Reduced (February 22, 2022)

(Ottawa)— The Ottawa Police Service and its policing partners continue operations to return the Downtown Core to a state of normalcy.

Sparks Street is now accessible to pedestrians via a gated access at all intersections except Elgin Street. 

Secured Area Reduced

Police have reduced the size of the Secured Area. It now includes:

  • Laurier Avenue to Parliament Hill
  • Bronson Avenue to the Rideau Canal

Police measures will only remain in place as long as is deemed necessary to ensure unlawful protesters do not return.

 Update on Police Operations to Remove Unlawful Protesters (February 21, 2022)

(Ottawa)— The Ottawa Police Service and its policing partners continue operations to return the Downtown Core to a state of normalcy.

Secure Area Footprint Reduced

Police have reduced the size of the Secured Area. It now includes:

  • Somerset Street West to Parliament Hill
  • Bronson Avenue to the Rideau Canal

The ByWard Market area is no longer in the Secured Area.

Residents and Businesses – what to expect on Tuesday

Residents can expect an increased police presence to remain in place in the coming days.

Residents may travel to the secured area if they have a lawful reason such as they live there, work there or are shopping and visiting businesses.

Police checkpoints will remain in place and you will be asked your reason for travelling within the area. 

Businesses should feel safe to reopen if they had closed during the unlawful protest. 

The Ottawa Police is working directly with local business improvement agencies.

Supporting local businesses is considered lawful if you are entering the Secured Area.

We would like to thank businesses and residents for their patience.

Police measures will only remain in place as long as is deemed necessary to ensure unlawful protesters do not return.

Unlawful protesters must not enter the area or they may be subject to arrest and charges.

Some unlawful protesters returned to the protest site after being arrested and they have been charged.

A Quebec man was arrested on February 18th for Obstruct Police, Mischief Obstruct Property and Mischief. He was released with no charges. One day later he was arrested for Disobey lawful order, Obstruct Police, Mischief Obstruct Property and Mischief and was released via undertaking with boundary conditions.

A woman from Southern Ontario was arrested on February 18th for Mischief. She was released with no charges.  One day later, she was arrested for Disobey lawful order, Obstruct Police, Mischief Obstruct Property and Mischief and was released via undertaking with boundary conditions.

Enforcement and Charges Laid

As of 8:00 AM on February 21st, police have made 196 arrests.

Of those persons arrested, 110 were charged with various offences, including:

  • Disobey Lawful Court Order
  • Obstruct/Resist A Peace Officer
  • Assault
  • Mischief Obstruct Property
  • Mischief
  • Cause disturbance by Fighting/Shouting/Swearing
  • Assault Police
  • Dangerous Operation Motor Vehicle
  • Possess Weapon

A total of 115 vehicles have been towed to date. 

  Charges laid in relation to Unlawful Protests in Ottawa (February 20, 2022)
(Ottawa) –The Ottawa Police Service arrested Tyson George BILLINGS, 44 years old, of High Prairie, Alberta on February 19, 2022.

BILLINGS has been charged by the Criminal Investigations Section with:

  • Mischief
  • Counselling to Commit the Offence of Mischief
  • Counselling to Commit the Offence of Disobey Court Order (s.127)
  • Obstruct Police
  • Counselling to Commit the Offence of Obstruct Police

He is scheduled to appear in court today.

The Ottawa Police issued a notice to protestors advising that anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offence and could be arrested.

Protestors were also informed to cease further unlawful activity, or they would face charges or fines. 

 Charges laid in relation to Unlawful Protests in Ottawa (February 19, 2022)
(Ottawa) –Yesterday, the Ottawa Police Service arrested Patrick James KING, 44 years old, of Red Deer, Alberta.

KING was charged by the Criminal Investigations Section with:

  • Mischief
  • Counselling to Commit the Offence of Mischief
  • Counselling to Commit the Offence of Disobey Court Order (s.127)
  • Counselling to Commit the Offence of Obstruct Police

He is scheduled to appear in court today.

This past week, the Ottawa Police issued a notice to protestors advising that anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offence and could be arrested.

Protestors were also informed to cease further unlawful activity, or they would face charges or fines. 

 Charge laid in relation to Unlawful Protests in Ottawa (February 18, 2022)

(Ottawa) –The Ottawa Police Service has arrested and charged Tamara LICH, 49 years old, of Medicine Hat, Alberta.

LICH has been charged with:

  • Counselling to commit the offence of mischief;

She is scheduled to appear in court today.

Yesterday, the Ottawa Police issued a notice to protestors advising that anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offence and could be arrested.

Protestors were also informed to cease further unlawful activity, or they would face charges or fines.  

 Charges laid in relation to unlawful protest in Ottawa (February 18, 2022)

(Ottawa) –The Ottawa Police Service arrested Christopher John BARBER, 46 years old, of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. 

BARBER has been charged by the Criminal Investigations Section with: 

  • Counselling to commit the offence of mischief;
  • Counselling to commit the offence of disobey court order (s. 127);
  • Counselling to commit the offence of obstruct police.

He is scheduled to appear in court today.

Yesterday, the Ottawa Police issued a notice to protestors advising that anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offence and could be arrested.

Protestors were also informed to cease further unlawful activity, or they would face charges or fines.  

 Secured Area Established (February 17, 2022)

(Ottawa) – Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the Unified Command in control of policing in Ottawa has established a Secured Area to ensure that individuals comply with the Emergency Measures Regulations and to ensure designated places (Parliament, Government buildings, critical infrastructure etc) are protected.

You cannot travel to or within an area where an assembly is taking place contrary to the Regulations.

At this time, the Secured Area is from Bronson Avenue to the Canal, the Queensway to Parliament Hill.

Anyone can enter the Secured Area if you fall under an exemption in the Regulations, meaning that you:

  1. reside, work or are moving through that area for reasons other than to participate in or facilitate the assembly;

 (b) are acting with the permission of a peace officer or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;

(c) are a peace officer; or

(d) are an employee or agent of the government of Canada or a province who is acting in the execution of their duties.

You can expect to see police checkpoints where you will be asked your reason for travelling within the Secured Area. 

You will be required to show proof of exemption for your travel to the Secured Area.

Expect traffic delays in and around the Secured Area. Please avoid the downtown core if you have no reason to be there.

“We do not take this decision lightly, we know this will impact the residents. Please bear with us while we work to return the city to a state of normalcy” stated Interim Chief Steve Bell. “We want to reassure everyone that if you live, work or have a reason to be in the area that your access will be minimally impacted.”

We want you to be aware that entering the Secured Area for the purpose of contravening the Emergency Act, may result in you being arrested and/or charged.

The Secured Area will only be enforced as long as necessary.

 Statement by Interim Chief Steve Bell to City Council (February 16, 2022)
(Ottawa)--Mayor and Members of Council,

We are here today to provide you a briefing on the plan of action that has already begun to end this unlawful protest  in our City.

We are also here to answer questions from members of Council.

This morning, the command of the OPP, RCMP and Ottawa Police were briefed on the significant steps being taken to bring a safe end to this crisis.

The Ottawa Police remains the police of jurisdiction and lead of this integrated command.

This is the city we are sworn to protect. It’s our responsibility and our job to safely remove this unlawful protest . The RCMP and OPP are here to support us and I thank them for the significant efforts and resources they are bringing forward.

We have a methodical and well-resourced plan with a simple mission:

We are going to take back the entirety of the downtown core and every occupied space. We are going to remove this unlawful protest. We will return our city to a state of normalcy.

Over the last few days we have developed strategies to deal with all possible scenarios.

We will be focused on public safety, demonstrator safety and officer safety. All of our plans and actions will be lawful and in line with the Charter.

Demonstrators must leave the unlawful protest site. Officers are already going truck to truck to advise them of this demand.

We want them to do this peacefully and immediately and we are facilitating the departure of anyone who wants to leave.

We also have appropriate and lawful methods to remove anyone who refuses.

We are also aware there are children in the area. This concerns us a great deal.

We have engaged a planning team and the Children’s Aid Society to encourage anyone with children in the area to leave and bring those children to a place of safety.

We also have a plan to ensure children are protected and cared for during any action.

You will be hearing and seeing these actions in the coming days.

It will take time to do this right. Every step will be considered and methodical. I ask for your patience and confidence.

Some of the techniques we are lawfully able and prepared to use are not what we are used to seeing in Ottawa. But we are prepared to use them where necessary to bring about the safest outcome and restore order.

I am confident that we now have the resources, the plan, and the commitment to get the job done.

The plan will not be considered complete until such a time that the streets are cleared fully.

We have commitment from our partners that resources will remain in place until this objective is achieved.

We know that this has left our residents feeling unsafe and abandoned and has tarnished our own reputation and that of our City. We deeply regret this.

There are many questions being asked about how we got here. We all know that there will be full review and we all welcome it so we can learn from the events of the last three weeks.

But for today and the days to come the Ottawa Police Service and our partners are focused on getting this job done.

Wherever those questions take us, I want you to know that the members of the Ottawa Police Service care about this city. They are committed to these actions and they are ready to go. 

I am proud of them for all they have done and all that we will be doing in the days to come.

Thank you.

 A further Notice to Demonstrators (February 16, 2022)

(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service wants to inform you that under provincial and federal legislation, you will face severe penalties if you do not cease further unlawful activity and remove your vehicle and/or property immediately from all unlawful protest sites. 

  • You may be arrested and charged with criminal offences including but not limited to mischief, and potentially charged with a variety of other non-criminal offences.
  • Your vehicle and property may be seized or removed.
  • Your driver’s licence may be suspended or cancelled.
  • CVOR (Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration) certificates may be suspended or cancelled.
  • Your personal or business bank accounts, including virtual currency, may be subject to examination and restriction.
  • If you bring a minor (a person under 18) with you to an unlawful protest site, you may be charged and fined up to $5000 and/or potentially spend up to five years in prison.
  • Those who are delivering fuel and other supplies to those taking part in the unlawful demonstration can be charged.
  • Persons traveling to any other unlawful protest sites to participate in or support the unlawful demonstration can be charged.
  • Be aware that legislation now prohibits interference with any critical infrastructure including 400-series highways, railways, airports and international border crossings.
 Unified Command focused on Safe Resolution to Unlawful Protests (February 16, 2022)

(Ottawa)—The enhanced Integrated Command Centre (ICC) under a Unified Command – made up of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) -- has developed a clear and actionable plan to bring about a safe and peaceful end to the unlawful protests underway in downtown Ottawa. As the police of jurisdiction, the OPS remains the lead of this operation to return Ottawa to a state of normalcy.

“Our RCMP officers continue to be fully engaged in supporting the Ottawa Police Service as part of this integrated command structure. We have full confidence in the OPS leadership, as well as in all the deployed officers working collaboratively to achieve effective operational results,” said RCMP Deputy-Commissioner Mike Duheme, Federal Policing.  “We continue to offer our full support to bring a safe and peaceful end to this unlawful protest.”

“The Ontario Provincial Police, along with the RCMP, is committed to working with Interim Chief Bell and the members of the Ottawa Police to ensure we bring a peaceful resolution to this situation and bring relief to the residents of Ottawa,” said Deputy Commissioner Chris Harkins, OPP.

Unlawful protesters have been warned that they must leave the area now. Anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in blocking streets, is committing a criminal offence and may be arrested. You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you will face charges. If you are arrested, you may be released on bail depending on factors contained in Part XVI of the Criminal Code. Officers are facilitating the safe departure of anyone who wants to leave.

“Over the last few days, the Unified Command has developed strategies to deal with all possible scenarios,” said Ottawa Police Service Interim Chief Steve Bell. “We will be focused on public safety, demonstrator safety and officer safety. All of our plans and actions will be lawful and in line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Police are also aware there are children in the area and are focused on their safety. We have engaged a planning team and the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society to encourage anyone with children in the area to leave and bring those children to a safe place. We also have a plan to ensure children are protected and cared for during any action.

The public will be hearing about and seeing police actions in the coming hours and days. It will take time to do this right. We have appropriate and lawful methods to remove anyone who refuses. Every step will be considered and methodical. We ask for your patience and confidence. 

 Notice to Demonstrators (February 16, 2022)

(Ottawa)—You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offence and you may be arrested. You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you will face charges. If you are arrested you may be released on bail depending on factors contained in Part XVI of the Criminal Code.

The people of Ottawa are being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property and you are causing businesses to close. That is mischief under the Criminal Code.

Charges and/or convictions related to unlawful activity associated with the demonstration may lead to denial in crossing the USA border.

The Federal Emergencies Act allows for the regulation or prohibition of travel to, from or within any specified area. This means that anyone coming to Ottawa for the purpose of joining the ongoing demonstration is breaking the law. The act also provides police with a number of measures including the ability to seize vehicles that are part of this demonstration.

Ontario law (EMCPA) now prohibits interference with any critical infrastructure including 400-series highways, railways, airports and international border crossings. It prohibits you from preventing someone from travelling to or from walkways, bridges and highways (other than 400 series highways) or preventing anyone from using them. It also prohibits someone from seriously interfering with the safety, health or well-being of members of the public.

Anyone who commits these illegal actions could face fines or be required to appear in court. Commercial vehicle drivers’ licences and private drivers’ licences can be suspended or revoked.

Ottawa Police Service Establish Integrated Command Centre to Coordinate Enforcement (February 12, 2022)
(Ottawa) – Together with the OPP and the RCMP, the Ottawa Police Service today announced the establishment of an enhanced, Integrated Command Centre (ICC) in response to a significant influx of demonstrators into the Ottawa area and escalation of the current occupation.

In downtown Ottawa, over 4,000 demonstrators were present throughout the day. Safety concerns - arising from aggressive, illegal behaviour by many demonstrators - limited police enforcement capabilities.

We expect that the ICC will result in a significantly enhanced ability of our police service to respond to the current situation in our city. The ICC will allow us to make the most effective use of the additional resources our policing partners have provided to us.

In addition to the establishment of the ICC, the Ottawa Police Service provides the following update on operations for today: 

  • Due to the volume of people and vehicles in the downtown core, police safely managed the movement of various convoys in and around Ottawa. One 300 vehicle convoy and a 20-kilometer long car convoy from Quebec were safely managed.
  • Interception of a fuel transport into the downtown core. 
  • Operationalization of the new measures announced by the Ontario Government yesterday.
  • Continued planning with all levels of government to bring an end to the current occupation.

 The Ottawa Police Service will continue to provide additional operational updates as appropriate. 

 Ottawa Police Service Deploying All Available Officers to Enforce Neighbourhood Safety (February 12, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service continues to deploy all available resources to put an end to the unlawful demonstration in the downtown core, respond to calls for service, and improve neighbourhood safety.

Overnight, demonstrators exhibited aggressive behaviour towards law enforcement including refusing to follow directions, overwhelming officers, and otherwise subverting enforcement efforts.

All available officers were deployed last night. We have a plan to end this unlawful occupation and await the necessary reinforcements to do so. 

We continue to monitor events across the province and adjust plans locally.

As of 10:30 AM EST, the Ottawa Police Service can report:

Enforcement and Charges Laid

  • There have been 26 arrests in relation to criminal charges. Including two additional arrests for public intoxication.
  • Police intercepted and recovered a stolen vehicle destined to join the occupation. This is the second stolen vehicle recovered in relation to the occupation.
  • The Ottawa Police Service and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) have launched a joint truck violation initiative. 3 vehicles have been placed out of service, and 10 charges have been issued including: moving violations, document offenses, lapsed inspection, and daily log infractions.
  • Bylaw and Police Services have issued more than 2,600 tickets.
  • Enforcement of new emergency measures will begin following their formal implementation by the province.

Intelligence and Investigations

  • 140 active criminal offence investigations in relation to the demonstration.
  • Intelligence and evidence gathering teams continue to collect financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions.

Operations

  • All available Ottawa Police Service officers remain on active duty.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is working with policing partners and all levels of government to secure the necessary additional resources to put an end to the unlawful occupation.
  • Officers were deployed to downtown school neighbourhoods on Friday in response to reports of demonstrators harassing children.

We encourage all residents who have witnessed or been the victim of unlawful behaviour to please contact the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222 ext 7300, or ext 5015 for hate related crimes. Reports may also be submitted online at www.ottawapolice.ca.

The Ottawa Police Service will continue to provide updates as they become available.


Special Meeting: Ottawa Police Services Board Agenda 52 - February 11 2022

 


Media Briefing February 10, 2022

Ottawa Police Service Works to Reduce Occupation Footprint -- 1,775 Tickets Issued (February 10, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service and its partners are continuing to work to put an end to the unlawful demonstrations in the downtown core, respond to calls for service, and improve neighbourhood safety.

Yesterday, the Ottawa Police Service provided a message to demonstrators highlighting that it is a criminal offence to obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.

We continue to advise demonstrators not to enter Ottawa, and to go home.

As of 11:00 AM EST, the Ottawa Police Service can report:

Enforcement and Charges Laid

  • Police have responded to nearly 1000 calls for service in relation to the demonstrations since they began.
  • Police continue to prevent people from supplying fuel and other material supports to demonstrators.
  • There have been 25 arrests in relation to criminal charges. This includes charges for the following:
    • Public Mischief and Mischief
    • Resist Police
    • Flight from Police
    • CDSA Possession Schedule 1
    • Drive Disqualified
    • Breach of Probation
    • Menacing
    • Transportation of fuel

 

  • Bylaw and Police Services have issued more than 1,550 tickets, including tickets for the following:
    • Excessive noise
    • Use of Fireworks
    • Failure to drive in marked lane
    • Red light violations
    • Driving through a No Truck Route
    • Seatbelt violation
    • Driving a motor vehicle on a sidewalk
    • Cellphone
    • Disobey sign
    • Improper muffler
    • Tint (too dark)
    • Obstructed license plate
    • Failure to produce documents
    • Stunt Driving (vehicle seized)
    • Suspended license
    • No Insurance

 

  • Several vehicles were seized and towed, including one stolen truck and an abandoned vehicle in a roadway.

 

  • On February 7, 2022, Justice McLean of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted a temporary injunction restraining any person, who has notice of the court order, from using air horns or train horns, other than those on a motor vehicle of a municipal fire department in the vicinity of downtown. This order is being enforced by the Ottawa Police Service and its partners.

Perimeter and Traffic Control

  • Officers negotiated the removal of 12 trucks at the Coventry Road encampment.
  • Ten additional trucks departed from the Downtown Core.
  • Kent St. remains blocked with traffic between Wellington and Somerset.
  • Hundreds of concrete and heavy equipment barricades remain in place throughout Centretown, Lowertown, ByWard Market, Sandy Hill and the Glebe.

Intelligence and Investigations

  • 126 active criminal offence investigations in relation to the demonstration.
  • Investigative Units estimate that approximately 25% of heavy vehicles are currently being used to house families with children. We have consulted the Children’s Aid Society to ensure the safety of these children remains a top priority (per the joint statement).
  • An investigation is underway after an demonstrators refused to stop for Traffic Unit officer and hit a police cruiser near Bank and Flora at noon. No one was injured.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is actively working with Canadian, U.S. and international security agencies authorities to investigate email-based threats to public officials.
  • Worked with Ohio police authorities on menacing charges and an arrest in relation to swatting activity.
  • The Hate-motivated crime hotline has received over 413 calls, and Detectives are ensuring every report is investigated.
  • Intelligence and evidence gathering teams continue to collect financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions.

Operations

  • All available Ottawa Police Service officers remain on active duty, focusing on patrolling and addressing unlawful and threatening conduct in Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown and the ByWard Market.
  • Ottawa Police are not returning seized items associated to the demonstration, such as fuel.
  • Operations are ongoing to shut down demonstrator staging and supply sites, including those on Coventry Road.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is working with policing partners and all levels of government to secure additional resources and further escalate enforcement operations.

We encourage all residents who have witnessed or been the victim of unlawful behaviour to please contact the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222 ext 7300, or ext 5015 for hate related crimes. Reports may also be submitted online at www.ottawapolice.ca.

The Ottawa Police Service will continue to provide updates as they become available.


 

 Message to Demonstrators from the Ottawa Police Service (February 9, 2022)

(Ottawa)—It is a criminal offence to obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of property. 

The offence is known as mischief to property. 

The unlawful act of blocking streets in the downtown core is resulting in people being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property.

We are providing you notice that anyone blocking streets or assisting others in the block of streets  may be committing a criminal offence.

You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you may face charges.

You could be arrested without a warrant for this offence if you are a party to the offence or assisting others in the direct or indirect commission in this offence.

Whether you are released on bail depends on factors contained in Part XVI of the Criminal Code.

Offence-related property, including vehicles, may be seized as part of the offence. The vehicles may be detained and, following a conviction, possibly forfeited. 

Charges or convictions related to the unlawful activity associated with the demonstration may lead to denial in crossing the USA border.

 Child and youth safety at Ottawa demonstrations (February 9, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service (OPS), in collaboration with The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO), will work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and youth at the current demonstration in the downtown core.

Ottawa police officers are aware of concerns about child and youth attendance at the demonstration.

Police have a role to play in observing any potential dangers and will report them immediately to CASO. In matters that involve a child or youth who is in the protest area, CASO will work closely with the OPS to respond to the concern. Child and youth wellbeing and safety is top of mind for CASO.

CASO continues to play its role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and youth in the community. The Society has a duty to investigate whenever there are allegations of abuse or neglect that suggest a child or youth may be in need of protection.

There have been ongoing reports to CASO regarding child welfare concerns amid the Ottawa protest. CASO considers all information received from the public to determine the best response.

If there are concerns about the safety or maltreatment of a child or youth in Ottawa, please call CASO at 613-747-7800, or email yourcasquestion@casott.on.ca

 


 

COURT ORDER

Enforcement of Court Order in Downtown Core (February 8, 2022)

On February 7, 2022, Justice McLean of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an temporary injunction restraining any person, who has notice of the court order, from using air horns or train horns, other than those on a motor vehicle of a municipal fire department. This order applies to the downtown core in the City of Ottawa which is defined as any streets north of Highway 417 (Queensway). The injunction has been granted for a period of 10 days (i.e. until end of day February 17, 2022) and will be enforced by the Ottawa Police Service and its partners effective immediately.

If a person, with reasonable notice is believed to be

  1. using air horns or train horns, other than those on a motor vehicle of a municipal fire department; and
  2. is in the vicinity of downtown Ottawa: this geographical location includes the city’s downtown, and specifically, any streets north of Highway 417 (Queensway), for a period of 10 days.

Then they may be arrested for contravening the Court Order or they may be arrested and/or charged under Section 127 of the Criminal Code.

If a person is arrested for contravening the Court Order and the person indicates, in writing, that they will obey and abide by the Court Order, they may be released.

If a person is arrested for contravening the Court Order and they refuse to indicate in writing that they will obey and abide by the Court Order, they may be taken to the Superior Court for civil contempt proceedings and criminal contempt prosecutions. Penalties include up to two years imprisonment and / or another form of punishment as deemed appropriate at time of conviction. 

Ottawa Police Service Make 23 Arrests in Relation to Demonstration – 1,300 Tickets Issued (February 8, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service and its partners are continuing to work to put an end to the unlawful demonstrations in the downtown core, respond to calls for service, and improve neighbourhood safety.

We continue to advise demonstrators not to enter Ottawa, and to go home.

As of 12:00 PM EST, the Ottawa Police Service can report:

Enforcement and Charges Laid

  • Police have responded to over 850 calls for service in relation to the demonstrations since they began.
  • Police continue to prevent people from supplying fuel and other material supports to demonstrators.
  • There have been 23 arrests in relation to criminal charges. This includes charges for the following:
    • Mischief (Transportation of Gas)
    • Resist Police
    • Flight from Police
    • CDSA Possession Schedule 1
    • Drive Disqualified
    • Breach of Probation
    • Menacing
  • By-law and Police Services have issued more than 1,300 tickets since the beginning of the occupation, including tickets for the following:
  • Several vehicles were seized and towed, including one stolen truck and an abandoned vehicle in a roadway.
    • Excessive noise
    • Use of Fireworks
    • Failure to drive in marked lane
    • Red light violations
    • Driving through a No Truck Route
    • Seatbelt violation
    • Driving a motor vehicle on a sidewalk
    • Cellphone
    • Disobey sign
    • Improper muffler
    • Tint (too dark)
    • Obstructed license plate
    • Failure to produce documents
    • Stunt Driving (vehicle seized)
    • Suspended license
    • No Insurance
    • Parking Violations

Perimeter and Traffic Control

  • As of yesterday, there were 100 demonstrators in the Wellington Corridor and 418 vehicles in the red zone. 
  • Kent St. remains blocked with traffic between Wellington and Somerset.
  • Hundreds of concrete and heavy equipment barricades remain in place throughout Centretown, Lowertown, ByWard Market, Sandy Hill and the Glebe.

Intelligence and Investigations

  • 85 criminal offence investigations ongoing in relation to the demonstration.
  • Investigative Units estimate that approximately 25% of  heavy vehicles are currently being used to house families with children. We are consulting with Children’s Aid Society to ensure the safety of these children remains a top priority.
  • An investigation is underway after an demonstrators refused to stop for Traffic Unit officer and hit a police cruiser near Bank and Flora at noon. No one was injured.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is actively working with Canadian, U.S. and international security agencies authorities to investigate email-based threats to public officials.
  • Worked with Ohio police authorities on menacing charges and an arrest in relation to swatting activity.
  • As appropriate, images of potential suspects are being released to the public, including those in connection to an attempted arson in the downtown core.
  • The Hate-motivated crime hotline has received over 200 calls, and Detectives are ensuring every report is investigated.
  • Intelligence and evidence gathering teams continue to collect financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions.

 Operations 

  • All available Ottawa Police Service officers remain on active duty, focusing on patrolling and addressing unlawful and threatening conduct in Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown and the ByWard Market.
  • A Public Order Unit was swarmed by demonstrators after officers came to the assistance of an officer seizing material meant to support demonstrators.
  • Operations are ongoing to shut down demonstrator staging and supply sites, including those on Coventry Road.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is working with policing partners and all levels of government to secure additional resources and further escalate enforcement operations.

We encourage all residents who have witnessed or been the victim of unlawful behaviour to please contact the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222 ext. 7300, or ext. 5015 for hate related crimes. Reports may also be submitted online at www.ottawapolice.ca.

The Ottawa Police Service will continue to provide updates as they become available.


Media Briefing February 8, 2022


City of Ottawa Media Briefing February 7, 2022

 


 

7 people arrested, 100 tickets issued in Demonstration-Related Enforcement (February 6, 2022)

The Ottawa Police Service has made multiple arrests in relation to several enforcement actions related to the ongoing demonstration. 

On Sunday:

  • Two people were arrested on Coventry Rd. for mischief
  • Multiple vehicles and fuel have been seized.
  • Officers arrested three individuals at Metcalf and Slater for mischief. The investigation is ongoing and updates will follow.
  • Two more people were arrested this morning. One person was charged for driving while prohibited and the other for mischief relating to property damage of a downtown business.
  • The OPS issued a warning earlier today advising the public that anyone found bringing fuel to the demonstration trucks in red zone could be subject to arrest and charges. This is effective immediately.
  • Confederation Park has been fully cleared and fenced.
  • More than 100 Highway Traffic Act and other Provincial Offence Notices were issued including excessive honking, driving the wrong way, defective muffler, no seat belt, alcohol readily available and having the improper class of driving licence. 

Further updates and charges will follow tomorrow. 

There are over 60 criminal investigations so far related to the demonstration. They are primarily for mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage. 

To date, the Ottawa Police Service has received 100 Ontario Provincial Police officers to assist with Ottawa demonstrations. We thank them and our other policing partners for their continued support. 

 450+ tickets issued since Saturday morning (February 6, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service and its partners worked through the night to reduce the impacts of demonstrators in the downtown core, respond to calls for service, and improve neighbourhood safety.

Overnight, demonstrators exhibited extremely disruptive and unlawful behaviour, which presented risks to public safety and unacceptable distress for Ottawa residents. 

We continue to advise demonstrators not to enter Ottawa, and to go home.

As of 11:00Am EST, the Ottawa Police Service can report:

Enforcement and Charges Laid

  • Police have responded to over 650 calls for service in relation to the demonstrations since they began.
  • Bylaw and Police Services have issued more than 450 tickets since Saturday morning, including tickets for the following:
  • Several vehicles were seized and towed, including one stolen truck and an abandoned vehicle in a roadway.
  • Ottawa Police Service Negotiators supported efforts to limit noise and the blowing of horns from 9AM to 1PM EST today.
    • Excessive noise
    • Use of Fireworks
    • Failure to drive in marked lane
    • Red light violations
    • Driving through a No Truck Route
    • Seatbelt violation
    • Driving a motor vehicle on a sidewalk
    • Cellphone
    • Disobey sign
    • Improper muffler
    • Tint (too dark)
    • Obstructed license plate
    • Failure to produce documents
    • Stunt Driving (vehicle seized)
    • Suspended license
    • No Insurance

Perimeter and Traffic Control

  • Overnight, there was a peak attendance of 250 people in the Wellington Corridor and a large crowd of 350 people at Rideau and Sussex.
  • As of 9:00AM there were 100 demonstrators in the Wellington Corridor and 500 vehicles in the red zone. 
  • Ottawa Police and our partners continue to close 417 exits in the downtown area sporadically.
  • Kent St. remains blocked with traffic between Wellington and Somerset.
  • Hundreds of concrete and heavy equipment barricades remain in place throughout Centretown, Lowertown, Byward Market, Sandy Hill and the Glebe.

Intelligence and Investigations

  • 97 criminal offence investigations have been opened in relation to the demonstration.
  • Intelligence and evidence gathering teams continue to collect financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is actively working with Canadian, U.S. and international security agencies authorities to investigate email-based threats to public officials.
  • The Hate-motivated crime hotline has received over 200 calls, and Detectives are ensuring every report is investigated.

Operations

  • Public Order Units managed a large unlawful crowd at Rideau/Sussex at 12:30 AM.
  • All available Ottawa Police Service officers remain on active duty, focusing on patrolling and addressing unlawful and threatening conduct in Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown and the ByWard Market.

We encourage all residents who have witnessed or been the victim of unlawful behaviour to please contact the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222 ext 7300, or ext 5015 for hate related crimes. Reports may also be submitted online at www.ottawapolice.ca.

The Ottawa Police Service will continue to provide updates as they become available. 


Special Meeting: Ottawa Police Services Board Agenda 51 - February 5, 2022

 


 

Ottawa Police Enforce Perimeter Containment Measures, Charges laid, new RCMP resources announced (February 5, 2022)

The Ottawa Police Service and its partners continue to implement a surge and contain strategy focused on preventing and reducing the impacts of demonstrators entering the downtown core, and improving neighbourhood safety. 

We continue to advise demonstrators not to enter Ottawa, and to go home. 

Enforcement and Charges Laid

  • Police have responded to 400 calls for service in relation to the demonstration since they began.
  • In total, over 50 criminal offences are being investigated- 11 of those were hate crimes which resulted in charges against four people.
  • Seven people have been arrested and 70 traffic violation tickets have been issued so far. 

Perimeter and Traffic Control

  • An estimated 500 heavy vehicles associated with the demonstration are in the red zone.
  • Throughout the day, Ottawa Police and our partners are sporadically closing 417 exits in the downtown area, including:
    • Nicholas / Mann (Westbound & Eastbound)
    • Metcalfe (Westbound & Eastbound)
    • Bronson (Westbound)
    • Parkdale (Westbound & Eastbound)
    • Island Park (Westbound)
    • Kent (Eastbound)
    • Vanier (Eastbound)
    • St. Laurent (Eastbound)
    • Pinecrest Road (Eastbound)
    • Montreal Road (Eastbound & Westbound)
    • Woodroffe Avenue (Eastbound & Westbound)
    • Aviation Parkway (Westbound)
    • Walkley Road (Westbound)
  • Concrete barriers and heavy equipment barricades remain in place throughout Centretown, Lowertown, ByWard Market, Sandy Hill and the Glebe. 

Intelligence and Investigations

  • Intelligence and evidence gathering teams continue to collect financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions.
  • The Ottawa Police Service is actively working with U.S. authorities to investigate email-based threats to public officials.
  • The Hate related Hotline has received over 150 calls, and detectives are ensuring every report is investigated.

Operations

  • All available Ottawa Police Service officers remain on active duty, with a focus on patrolling and addressing unlawful and threatening conduct in: Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown and the ByWard Market.
  • An additional 257 RCMP officers are being sworn in with Special Constable Status in order to further assist with demonstration enforcement.

We encourage all residents who have witnessed or been the victim of unlawful behaviour to please contact the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222 ext 7300, or ext 5015 for hate related crimes. Reports may also be submitted online at www.ottawapolice.ca

The Ottawa Police Service will continue to provide updates as they become available. 

Media briefing February 4, 2022


Ottawa Police Service Implements Increased Measures to Protect Downtown Neighbourhoods (February 4, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service and its partners are implementing a surge and contain strategy in Ottawa’s downtown neighbourhoods to further protect neighbourhoods, restore order and prevent unlawful activity.

In connection with ongoing demonstrations, Ottawa’s downtown residents and businesses continue to be severely impacted by unlawful acts, including harassment, mischief, hate crimes, and noise violations. We know that additional demonstrators are coming, and we are significantly increasing our policing resources to respond.

To prevent and reduce the impacts of demonstrators entering the downtown core, and to improve neighbourhood safety, the Ottawa Police Service is implementing the following measures – effective immediately. 

Major deployment of police officers in the downtown neighbourhoods: There will be approximately 150 additional uniformed and non-uniformed officers dedicated to only patrolling and addressing unlawful and threatening conduct in the most impacted neighbourhoods including: Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown and the Byward Market. This includes working with City and NCR officials to prevent unlawful and unsafe use of public space by demonstrators. 

Expand and harden perimeter of the demonstration red zone: The Ottawa Police Service and City of Ottawa will be utilizing concrete and heavy equipment barricades to create no-access roadways throughout the downtown core. The City of Ottawa will be releasing a map of impacted roads later today. Protestor vehicles will be directed to designated parking zones outside of the downtown core. Illegal parking by demonstrators will result in by-law enforcement, removal and impound. If necessary, interprovincial bridges, highway off ramps and/or roads will be closed. 

Enforcement directives: The surge of police officers will result in enforcement to restore public safety. This includes increased investigation enforcement and charges for all criminal acts related hate, harassment, assaults (including spitting), intimidation, and mischief. 

Enhanced intelligence operations and investigations: National, provincial and local intelligence agencies have increased efforts to identify and target protestors who are funding/supporting/enabling unlawful and harmful activity by protestors. Investigative evidence-gathering teams are collecting financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions. Every unlawful act, including traffic violations, will be fully pursued regardless of origin.

The primary focus of each of these measures will be on the unlawful behaviour connected to the ongoing demonstrations (including parallel and counter demonstrations). 

We strongly urge all demonstrators and those engaging with demonstrators to act lawfully, peacefully and respectfully.

The hatred, violence, and illegal acts that Ottawa residents and businesses have endured over the last week is unacceptable in any circumstance. The Ottawa Police Service and the City of Ottawa are bringing significantly greater resources to restore order, hold offenders to account and protect our neighbourhoods. 

The current occupation of the Parliamentary Precinct remains unresolved despite significant success in reducing the number of trucks/demonstrators while preventing riots, injuries and death. We take no solace in these operational successes. The demonstrators in this red zone area remain highly organized, well-funded, and extremely committed to resisting efforts to end the demonstration safely. This remains a very volatile and very dangerous demonstration.

The Ottawa Police Service continues to work with the national security agencies, the RCMP, the OPP and other police agencies. We are also working with all three levels of government, to affect a safe, timely and lawful end to this unlawful and unacceptably dangerous demonstration.

Public safety remains paramount as does our commitment to work with all levels of government and all parts of civil society to bring this demonstration to an end.

 Demonstration-Related Traffic Enforcement in Downtown Neighbourhoods (February 3, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service Traffic Enforcement Unit is actively patrolling downtown residential neighbourhoods to address traffic issues related to the ongoing demonstration.

On Wednesday, police charged one man criminally, laid 30 traffic tickets and patrolled areas including Centretown, Sandy Hill, Glebe and the Market/Lowertown areas. This enforcement will continue daily.

Police laid eight charges for unnecessary noise (honking of horns), one for transporting dangerous goods (insecure fuel cans), one for improper muffler, four for disobeying signs, two for driving the wrong way in one way traffic, one unsafe lane change, one distracted driving, six speeding, one running a stop sign and five document offences.

One driver was charged for driving while criminally prohibited. The vehicle was impounded for 45 days.

Police have also deployed cruisers with Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) technology. ALPR is a device which helps police ensure road safety by identifying a variety of Highway Traffic Act (HTA) infractions, including stolen licence plates and suspended or unlicensed drivers. 

 

 National War Memorial investigation – Suspect to identify (February 2, 2022)

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service continues its investigation of the desecration of the National War Memorial on Saturday, January 29.

Investigators are asking the public to review the photographs and video of the suspect we are seeking to identify. We wish to credit The Sun for the video and photos.


Presentation to the Ottawa Police Services Board and City Council, February 2, 2022  

Chief Peter Sloly remarks during presentation to the Ottawa Police Services Board and City Council - February 2, 2022 

Check against delivery

Mayor Watson, Chair Deans. Members of the Police Services Board and Ottawa Council. 

Today, the Command Team and I are here to provide you, and the many members of our community who are listening and watching, the most up to date information about the unlawful, volatile and disruptive demonstration that continues in a shrinking footprint of the downtown. 

This is a unique and unprecedented demonstration. One that is well-funded and comes with extensive public safety risks. 

This demonstration is local, provincial, national and international in scope, but individuals from across Canada and the United States, have converged on our city, putting the safety of our residents, businesses and communities at risk. We are managing this risk.

There have been no riots, injuries, or deaths. We are arresting, charging and investigating bad actors. 

Message to Ottawa residents

I first want to speak to the residents of Ottawa and especially those our diverse downtown core. We hear you. This illegal and unacceptable activity has had an immeasurable impact on your lives.  

Residents have been the victims of intense noise, threatening behaviour, vitriol and hatred that has no place in our city or anywhere.

My message to the unlawful demonstrators is clear: there are consequences, and there will be more to come.

Those who contributed most to the traffic chaos – including those from out of province – are being pursued and charged.

Those who have committed hate crimes and criminal offences are facing prosecution, and potential jail time. 

Those who desecrated our monuments are being investigated and will be charged. 

To the residents of Ottawa, we know you want more action, and we are escalating our actions, including enforcement, without escalating greater public safety risks.

Approach 

This has truly become a whole of service, whole of community, whole of country effort. We are working with all levels of government and public safety agencies. All options for resolution are on table…from a negotiated resolution to an enforced resolution. 

Not only are we deploying all available Ottawa Police Service resources every day – but we have also received additional officers and resources from the RCMP, the OPP and many other municipal police services across Ontario. 

We have gathered some of the top policing experts and Public Order Unit commanders in the province and federally to propose solutions on containing and ending this activity, including direct enforcement actions. We are monitoring demonstrations across the country, including those in Alberta, and are implementing actions to prevent a long-term occupation of our streets. 

Overview

This afternoon Deputy Chief Ferguson is going to lay out the current situation, explain our resourcing and approach as we move forward. She will talk about the daily efforts we are taking to contain this demonstration, to get them into places that do not affect residential areas and lessen the impact on the community. 

She will also explain the actions our traffic officers have already begun to taking to increase traffic enforcement in the downtown core. 

Deputy Chief Bell will describe the multiple arrests that have already taken place, the intelligence gathering and threat assessment, the ongoing investigations, including the National War Memorial investigation, that have been launched and the vital need for residents to report all crimes associated to this event, especially hate crimes. 

Chief Administrative Officer Blair Dunker will lay out the initial financial costs and impact to our service’s finances. 

I said this week that all options are on the table. We are continually looking at our options and developing to end the demonstration as safely as possible while charging holding those who committed crimes to account.

Presentation | Update February 2, 2022


 

Third Arrest in demonstration-related investigations (February 2, 2022)

 (Ottawa) – Today, the Ottawa Police Service charged a 48 year old man from QC with Uttering Threats and Counseling to Commit an Indictable Offense not Committed.

The charge is in relation to threats and comments made on social media, while he was in Ottawa.

We want to be very clear, both for the current demonstrations and any planned demonstrations: Illegal activity will not be tolerated.

There will be consequences for anyone contravening City By-laws, Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code legislation.

Two arrests in demonstration-related investigations (February 1, 2022)

 (Ottawa) – Today, the Ottawa Police Service arrested and charged Matthew DORKEN, 29 year old, of Ottawa, with Mischief under $5000. On January 29th, a man caused mischief to property. He was not arrested at the time in order to avoid a larger confrontation.

On January 30th, Andre J LACASSE, 37 year old, of Ottawa, was charged with Carry a Weapon to a Public Meeting under the Criminal Code of Canada.

With respect to the demonstration, the Ottawa Police is reporting:

  • 13 active investigations;
  • Eight complaints to our hotline, three of which will be investigated by our Hate and Bias Crime Unit;
  • Two men charged with criminal offences;
  • Some progression in the investigation into the desecration of the War Monument;
  • A reduction in demonstrators - 50 people on Parliament Hill and another 200 people are gathered nearby.

We want to be very clear, both for the current demonstrations and any planned demonstrations: Illegal activity will not be tolerated.

There will be consequences for anyone contravening City By-laws, Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code legislation. 


Media briefing January 31, 2022

 Chief Peter Sloly remarks during Media availability - January 31, 2022 

(Ottawa)—Good afternoon. I want to thank the Mayor and the Chair for their comments that preceded mine.

I want to provide you with an update since the last media session we held on Friday, before the commencement of the core of the demonstrations that arrived in the nation's capital.

At that last media briefing, you will recall that we described this as a unique demonstration. You heard some of those elements from chair Deans and Mayor Watson.

For those of you who live in Ottawa's downtown core, you have seen that materialize over the last four days.

Our frontline officers and civilian members or partners from national, provincial and municipal agencies have experienced the same thing.

This demonstration is unique in nature, massive in scale, polarizing in context and dangerous in literally every other aspect of the event itself.

This started on the West Coast of Canada and spread across the country. It has been fluid, ever-changing and increasingly more difficult to manage. That has remained since the beginning; it continues to this current day.

I want to provide you with the updated information, from the course of events that took place through Friday afternoon into Saturday, Saturday evening into Sunday, Sunday evening into Monday.

As we talked about on Friday, the ingress of thousands of vehicles, particularly heavy trucks, caused almost immediate traffic gridlock through Friday into traffic chaos on Saturday and Sunday.

As we told you on Friday, the ingress level of vehicles and demonstrators would make large areas of the downtown core as well as the access routes in and out of the city, bridges, 400-series highways, and major thoroughfares difficult to navigate for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists of any kind.

It would create situations, pockets of dangerous areas for people to travel through.

It will require our residents and our businesses to get updated information from ourselves or city partners and other agencies around the current state of issues and risks and make informed decisions for the safety of themselves, their families and their businesses.

For the most part, the people who have been directly affected have been incredibly patient, incredibly resilient, and they have suffered a lot. I would like to recognize those people who live, work or need to commute through the downtown core of Ottawa. They've been incredibly and negatively impacted by the course of demonstrations and the impact of those demonstrations on their lives and livelihoods.

We are incredibly concerned about the stress they've been under, not just in the last several days but in the last months and years of the pandemic. We're very much aware of this. We're doing everything possible to mitigate those impacts against individuals, families, and businesses.

At the same time, I need to let everyone know of the incredible level of bravery, compassion, professionalism and dedication of all Ottawa Police Service members, all of the partner agencies that have joined us here in the last four days, all of our partners at the City of Ottawa and anyone who's played any direct role in supporting the operations around this demonstration. They have been an incredible group of individuals who kept this city safe during a situation that could have become riotous, it could have led to significant and severe injuries, and it could have led to the loss of lives.

None of that has occurred over the last four days. Let me repeat.

No injuries, no deaths, no riots in the last four days in the nation's capital, even though we have a global cause, national protest.

Tens of thousands of individuals from a wide variety of causes gathered to actively demonstrate 24 hours a day for the last four days. All of that, coupled with thousands of heavy trucks, SUVs and cars driving into the city and congregating in the core of this city, 24 hours a day for four days a week.

I want to specifically thank the following agencies who have come from the federal, provincial and municipal levels: The RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, Gatineau Police, le Sûreté du Quebec, London Police Services, Hamilton Police Services, Peel Region Police Services, Toronto Police Services, York Region Police Services and Durham Region Police Services.

They have sent members of their organization with experience and expertise, professionalism, compassion and joined under our Incident Command System. They have provided very needed, timely, professional, and effective services to keep this city safe. To keep our community safe. To keep our residents safe. To keep our city workers safe. To maintain emergency routes for fire, ambulance and police. To ensure the safety of our health care centers, hospitals or vaccination clinics. To ensure as much as possible the continuation of business within the city and the lifeblood of the city in terms of our ability for our residents to receive emergency services.

There were reports of denial of service—injuries and trauma-related directly to the demonstration. I can tell you that is not true. We have verification from ambulance services, fire services and police services that while they were delays in responses and, in some instances, gaps in services delivery, nobody was directly affected regarding ambulatory service requirements or emergency services requirements. Despite the massive traffic chaos and gridlock that we saw, not just in the core but on our major access ingress routes in the bridges to 400 series highways, that is an incredible level of coordination and professionalism that was demonstrated over the last four days.

Going forward, I want to be clear: public safety remains our paramount priority. The safety of our residents, our businesses, our visitors, our partners, our service members and yes, the safety of all those who have chosen to come here to demonstrate whether they live in the city or they've come from other locations across the country.

Effective tomorrow, we are re-deploying our Market Neighborhood Resource Teams, our Centretown  Neighborhood Resource Teams, and our crime prevention officers back into their neighbourhoods, the Market, Lowertown, Sandy Hill, and into Centretown. Their jobs will be to provide direct support services, safety services, and customer service to the residents, business owners, the not-for-profit sector, and the service providers in and around the core. Unfortunately, we needed those officers over the last four days. Every single one of those officers was deployed fully and continually. They are tired, they're stressed, and they're strained, but every one of them knows the stress and strain that was imposed upon their communities, and they're going back to serve and protect those communities effective tomorrow.

The situation of the demonstration has scaled down over the last 12 hours. Let me repeat -  the situation of the demonstration has scaled down over the last 12 hours. We want that trend to continue until this demonstration comes to a complete end. I cannot guarantee you that right now. Still, I can guarantee you that every effort that negotiation and coordination, de-escalation has continued throughout the last four days and will continue until the complete end of this demonstration.

We will maintain a large contingent of our neighbourhood and crime prevention officers in the immediate communities around where the core demonstrations are taking place to provide greater services, a greater sense of safety and greater interactions with those who've been most affected.

Within the next 24 hours, we will be creating a hotline for hate incidents hate crimes. Any offence directly related to the demonstrations, including criminal offences, threats, assaults, hate-related crimes and mischiefs. Anything that any member of the Community, visitor and demonstrator has faced in terms of criminal activity, a hotline will be established to receive those reports. There will be an immediate and continuous investigation until we have resolved it through charge and prosecution.

We have continued our relationship and working relationship with the Crowns Office. We have intelligence officers, investigative officers, and multi-jurisdictional support from British Columbia to Saint John's. From Nunavut to the GTA. To make sure that no matter where you live, no matter where your vehicles are registered, if you've come here and committed a crime. If you have committed a hate crime, you will be investigated. We will look for you. We will charge you, if necessary, will arrest you, and we will pursue prosecutions against you.

We have several active criminal investigations undergoing from bribery to threats to assault to the dangerous operation of vehicles. They will continue. Please report to us any other matters that we are not aware of.

We've had meetings throughout the last 24 hours. I had calls with the mayor, the chair, council members who represent the wards in the immediate area of the demonstration sites. We have had meetings with the City Councillor, City Legal. Today, I've had direct meetings with Commissioner Brenda Lucki, Commissioner Tom Carrique of the Ontario Provincial Police, their executive staff, and operational leads in the National Capital Region. We have continued to request levels of resources and support from our partner agencies federally, provincially and municipally. They have all been generous in providing those resource requests. They are continuing to support us as we go forward.

We continue negotiations with the core organizers of the core protests. We are emphatic in our desire to resolve these demonstrations as quickly, safely and effectively as possible. That will continue until the very end.

All options. All options are on the table. Through negotiation, through to enforcement. All options remain on the table to safely and effectively resolve this demonstration.

We will work in full coordination with the City of Ottawa. My thanks to Steve Kanellakos and his amazing team. You're going to hear from Kim Ayotte yet very shortly.

As we have done from the first day, we're going to work in full cooperation with our federal, provincial and municipal policing partners, national security agencies, and other public sector agencies. We will do so to the last day.

Let me repeat. Public safety has been paramount from the very beginning of this operation. We have had four dangerous, difficult dynamic days of 24 hours a day operations in frigid temperatures, minus 25 - 30 degrees. Our officers work 12/14/18 hour days in the cold with extremely dangerous and dynamic situations.

There were 1000 potential flashpoints that could have resulted in rioting, injury, or death. They did not occur. We kept this city safe. We kept our community safe. We kept our partners safe. We kept our members safe.

I'm indebted to the professionalism and the duty to serve and protect of our members of the Ottawa Police Services and the partner agencies. I'm indebted to the resilience of our residents, our business owners, our visitors, our employers, our employees.

This has been a whole of service effort. It's been a whole of city effort and, to a degree, a whole of country efforts. So far, we've been successful. We take nothing for granted. We are making progress. Real progress. We've reduced the size of the demonstration significantly will continue to do so in the hours and days ahead.

Your patience is necessary; your support is appreciated. Your resilience is amazing.

I thank you very much. My team is here to answer any questions. Deputy Chief Bell from an investigations Intelligence standpoint,  Deputy Chief Ferguson from an operational standpoint, I will remain until all questions are asked. We'll provide the best and most up-to-date information for you and the media.

I thank Mayor Watson, chair Deans, and Council for your support. Steve Kanellakos and the team at the City of Ottawa for their support. I will turn things back over to the moderator now. Thank you.


 

Update: January 30 @ 7:28 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, the Ottawa Police Service and its partners have been actively and patiently managing a well-funded, major demonstration in the downtown core. We have seen multiple cases of disruptive, inappropriate and threatening behaviour from demonstrators.

Police are working with organizers to facilitate the safe departure of individuals and vehicles and to ensure safety.

Police are aware that many demonstrators have announced their intention to stay in place. This will continue to cause major traffic, noise and safety issues in the downtown core. We urge all residents to avoid travel to the core.

Police have avoided ticketing and towing vehicle so as not to instigate confrontations with demonstrators. Still, confrontations and the need for de-escalation has regularly been required.

Along with the safety issues, costs to businesses and social costs, the Ottawa Police continues to tally the financial costs of the policing costs which are estimated at more than $800,000 a day.

If you work in the downtown core, please plan to work from home if possible.

Please adjust your plans in the downtown core. If your children attend school in the downtown area, please check with them to see if the school is open tomorrow.

Avoid travel into the downtown core tomorrow.

We are immensely proud of our police members and partners who have worked tirelessly to plan for and manage this demonstration over the past few days under difficult circumstances of extreme cold temperatures and difficult and challenging treatment from some demonstrators.

Public safety remains our number one priority.

Update: January 30 @ 2 p.m.

This afternoon, a large presence of police continues throughout the downtown core and the movement of protestors and trucks continues to be managed. Emergency lanes are being maintained. 

Priorities continue to include: 

  • Management of traffic issues (including gridlock);
  • Keeping peace and order;
  • Protecting monuments; and
  • Addressing threatening and/or high risk behaviour.   

This work is resource intensive, and police resources are fully stretched and fully engaged.

Public safety remains the top priority for police, City crews and emergency services.

Police and City staff are very aware of the complaints relating to parking, idling, noisemaking and other inappropriate behaviour. At this time, due to safety concerns, management of the protest and traffic must take precedence.

However, these matters are being responded to as soon as resources become available. Police continue to respond to calls for service throughout the city.

Throughout the remainder of the day and into the evening, focus will shift to implementation of egress and traffic approaches that move crowds and vehicles out of the downtown core. This will require a significant number of police and city resources.

Police have already begun working to facilitate the departure of individuals who are wanting to leave the area.

For more traffic information, view City traffic cameras at traffic.ottawa.ca, follow the city’s traffic management tool @Ottawa_Traffic or use a traffic monitoring app like Google or Waze to check for traffic congestion before you travel.  

Update: January 30 @ 8:10 a.m.

Large crowds remained in the downtown core throughout the night and were actively managed by police. Officers encountered several challenges with demonstrators, including sporadic road blockages by trucks, which officers worked to clear. 

These high-risk situations were de-escalated and resolved with no arrests. 

Police are patrolling throughout the downtown core, managing the movement of protestors and trucks.  

We are also responding to calls for service throughout the city.  

The OPS and our partners continue to focus on keeping the peace in and around the demonstrations and maintaining emergency access lanes while addressing any threatening high-risk behaviour.

We continue to have a very large police presence today at all large demonstration locations. Please follow the directions of the police, emergency responders and City officials.

National monuments will be protected and should be respected by all. Barricades are installed to block any vehicular access to the path in front of the National War Memorial.  

Do not travel to the downtown core. For residents and businesses in the core, police are working to mitigate the impacts of the demonstration, such as gridlock and parked vehicles. We thank residents and business owners for their patience.

Update: January 29 @ 7:55 p.m.

Crowds in the downtown core are dispersing after today’s demonstration but traffic issues continue and a large presence of police remains in place. 

There have been no incidents of violence or injuries reported.

Many streets in the downtown core are closed or impassable to vehicles.

Do not travel to the downtown core. For residents and businesses in the core, police are working to mitigate the impacts of the demonstration such as gridlock and parked vehicles and thank residents for their patience.

Police continue to work to ensure emergency lanes are maintained.  Vehicles that are parked in areas deemed necessary for public safety will be towed.

Throughout the day, police and traffic officials were forced to close several interprovincial bridges and several 417 exits into Ottawa. These traffic issues will continue on Sunday.

Interprovincial bridges: Portage and Alexandra bridges are closed. Champlain bridge is open, and the Macdonald-Cartier bridge has lane reductions. The Chaudiere bridge is open for healthcare and essential workers only. Be prepared to show identification. If you are neither, do not use this bridge.

We continue to ask that demonstrators respect national symbols like the National War Memorial or the Terry Fox statue. City crews and police took steps to protect these areas, such as towing vehicles and removing signs and paraphernalia, but they should be respected at all times.

There will continue to be a large presence of police and to ensure public safety this evening and on Sunday.

Update: January 29 @ 2:45 p.m.

A large police and emergency services presence continues in downtown Ottawa to ensure the safety of residents, businesses, and participants during this weekend’s demonstration. 

Large crowds have gathered in the area of Parliament Hill as well as heavy trucks and passenger vehicles. Police are making adjustments to manage the changing nature of the demonstration.  A crowd/vehicle estimate will be provided at the end of the demonstrations. 

Vehicles are being redirected away from the core to mitigate road safety. We are once again asking that people do not come into the core unless it is necessary. 

We are aware this demonstration is having a significant impact on local residents and businesses – we are working to mitigate these concerns. 

The police response includes officers from RCMP, Toronto, Durham, London, York police service as well as the OPP. Police resources are in place and will remain throughout the demonstration. At this time, the crowds are peaceful and there are no major incidents to report. 

Police are working to maintain emergency lanes and any other places that police need to keep clear for public safety. We have and will continue to tow vehicles that obstruct these areas. 

Several vehicles parked at the National War Memorial this morning and were immediately towed. Cars are not allowed to park and people will not be allowed to desecrate the Memorial. 

Parking along 400 series highways and on/off ramps is prohibited and dangerous – vehicles parking on the ramps will be towed. Pedestrians are not permitted on highways at any time – people walking on the highways will be removed and may face charges. Parking and walking on overpasses create traffic safety risks - exercise caution and allow traffic to pass safely passing vehicles. 

This event is having a substantial impact on traffic throughout the downtown area, highways and major arteries. Traffic in the downtown area has been severely impacted.

Do not travel in the downtown core.

We urge everyone to report threats or hate motivated incidents when they happen. If you see something suspicious, call police at 613-236-1222.

Police and the City of Ottawa will keep the public informed on city-wide traffic and transit. Follow the city’s traffic management tool @Ottawa_Traffic for real-time updates or use a traffic monitoring app like Google or Waze to check for traffic congestion before you travel.

CITY OF OTTAWA ADVISORY: Demonstrations will affect many roads throughout Ottawa, January 28

 

Demonstrators using Ottawa roadways are expected to begin arriving today and their effect will be felt throughout the weekend, although there is currently no known end time for the demonstrations. People are advised to avoid unnecessary travel, especially in the downtown core. If you do travel, plan ahead and expect significant delays. 

Pedestrians and cyclists should be aware that there will be a significant heavy truck presence on roads and they should exercise caution.  

The protest is currently expected to occupy several streets in the downtown area around Parliament Hill. Major impacts include but are not limited to:

  • Wellington Street
  • Queen Street
  • Metcalfe Street
  • O’Connor Street
  • Lyon Street
  • Kent Street
  • Sir John A Macdonald Parkway
  • Queen Elizabeth Driveway
  • Laurier Avenue and Elgin Street around Confederation Park

The City’s online traffic map will have live updates of traffic impacts. Select “incidents” to see roads currently being affected by the demonstrations.  

While the City anticipates that certain streets will be used as part of the demonstrations, many roadways and highways across the city will also experience traffic delays and disruptions. In addition, details may change on short notice and additional roads may be affected. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest traffic information on ottawa.ca. Follow our accounts on Twitter for live traffic information (@Ottawa_Traffic) or for traffic and other service impacts (@ottawacity). OC Transpo buses and Para Transpo may also experience delays and detours may be required. Stay up to date on the latest transit information by visiting octranspo.com, calling 613-580-3600 or following OC Transpo’s Twitter account. Demonstration information is available from the Ottawa Police Service at ottawapolice.ca or on Twitter (@OttawaPolice). 

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service.. You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 


Media briefing January 28, 2022

Chief Peter Sloly Comments

Good morning.

Ottawa is built on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory.

The peoples of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land.

The Ottawa Police Service honours the peoples and land of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.

The OPS honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

As you all know, there is a major demonstration taking place over the next several days here in the Nation's capital. 

In fact, demonstrators have already arrived, and we have already started to manage a series of pop-up demonstrators in the core over the last 24 hours.

The main demonstrations will commence tomorrow and could continue into next week. 

We know that there will be demonstrators from across Canada, including Ottawa residents.

One of the great things about Canada is our Charter right to demonstrate and have our views heard peacefully. 

That said, all rights and freedoms come with responsibilities and limitations. 

Public safety is paramount in all such demonstrations.

  • the safety of all the demonstrators 
  • the safety of the city, the community, the residents, the tourists and the businesses 
  • the safety of the police along with our emergency services and City of Ottawa partners.

The members of our service are duty-bound to protect the Charter, and as such, the OPS with our partners facilitate hundreds of peaceful, lawful and safe demonstrations every year, regardless of the cause.

The demonstrations this weekend will be unique, fluid, risky and significant. These demonstrations are national in scope, massive in scale, polarizing in nature and come almost two full years into a highly stressful and tragic global pandemic. 

There have been many concerns expressed in the community and many questions have been raised about what we can expect.

Here is what we do know so far about the core Freedom Convoy demonstration organizers. They have advised us that this will be a peaceful demonstration. They have confirmed that there will be a large number of trucks and participants and the main planned demonstrations will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

With demonstrations of this scale, there are significant risks to be mitigated but that we can not eliminate. For instance, we have a major traffic plan to ensure that emergency lanes are kept open, but with thousands of trucks demonstrating in the downtown core for days, we know that there will be major traffic safety issues.

There are unique variables associated with this demonstration that can be influenced but are beyond our ability to fully control. For instance, we have been in constant communication with the core Freedom Convoy organizers. Still, there are many other parallel demonstrators we have not been able to engage with - there are also social media actors locally, nationally and internationally who may or may not come to the demonstrations but who are inciting hate, violence and criminality. 

We still do not have a confirmed estimate on the number of trucks or demonstrators. We do not have an established end date for the demonstrations- they could go through the weekend and into next week. We do not know all of the parallel demonstrations that may occur and/or the lone individuals who may insert themselves into the mix for various reasons.

We do not know what impact a demonstration of this size, scale and duration will have on public safety or on public health outcomes while we are in this latest phase of COVID.

Based on what do know so far, I can tell you that we have significantly increased the level of local, provincial and national communication and coordination commensurate to the evolving nature of the demonstration. This includes bringing in significantly more police, national security, emergency services and City resources.

Starting today and increasing over the weekend, Ottawa residents and visitors can expect to see a large police and emergency services presence in the downtown core and on major highways and roads. 

As the demonstrators arrive in larger numbers today, major traffic delays and congestion will occur. 

Over the course of the weekend, there will be gridlock in the core, and it will impact road usage on a large scale city-wide. 

We will do everything possible to maintain emergency routes in the core, but we ask everyone NOT to visit or travel in the downtown core if you don't need to.

For those of you living or working in the downtown core, we understand your concerns, and we are working to lessen the impacts on your lives. But there will be significant impacts.

So please plan accordingly. Try to shop today - anticipate that there will be little ability for home delivery services in the core. There may be very limited vehicle, bicycle, or even pedestrian access for safety reasons in some areas close to demonstration sites.

The OPS has officers and resources available to provide police services for the rest of the city. That said, we ask that you use our 911 communications services appropriately - that you do not make unnecessary service demands during this period - that there may be delays and gaps in services depending on the impacts of the demonstrations.

Over the past week, we have been meeting with our partners to develop an operational plan to ensure that: we have the most current information and intelligence from all sources. This information and intelligence inform the spectrum of risks, threats and variables. We then constantly update our operational plans to secure the resources in our best attempt to mitigate and eliminate the threats, risks and variables. In an event such as this, with its ever-evolving fluid and dynamic nature, there will never be a perfect plan - and we do not have unlimited resources.  

As you will soon hear, we have a variety of well-developed and well-resourced plans to try to adequately and effectively address the known threats, risks and variables - plans for traffic disruption, parking problems, or more serious issues like damage to property, criminal acts and other violent behaviours. 

This includes the ability to gather evidence along the travelled routes, at the demonstration sites and online/social media. 

Let me be very clear, we are prepared to investigate, arrest (if necessary), charge and prosecute anyone who acts violently or breaks the law in the demonstrations or in association with the demonstrations. We have the capability and commitment to pursue investigations and prosecutions well after the demonstrations have ended.

This event has drawn a lot of attention from mainstream media, elected officials, and social media. This is an important issue for Canadians, no matter where people live or where they personally sit on the spectrum of views. 

That said, it is irresponsible to inflame this already volatile situation, and, in some cases, it may be illegal to express hate or incite criminality and violence.

We have seen in other jurisdictions where such inflammatory behaviours have led to people getting injured, killed or incarcerated. We are doing everything we can to ensure that does not happen here.

We are monitoring all intelligence and coordinating with federal, provincial and local partners to ensure that we are identifying those who could pose a threat.

We have evidentiary teams that will be videotaping all aspects of the demonstration. We will be gathering evidence should there be any acts of violence or unlawful behaviour.

We have intelligence assets and investigators who will be working throughout the entire event and in the days, weeks and months following, should there be any violence and acts of criminality associated with the demonstration.

We have consulted with the Crown Attorney's Office, and we are fully prepared, both legally and operationally, to address any risks associated with the demonstration while continuing to facilitate people's right to protest under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We have also developed a plan to facilitate the orderly and peaceful departure from Ottawa at the end of the demonstration. 

We ask that everyone who attends is respectful of each other and area residents and businesses - be respectful to our OPS officers along with our police, national security, emergency services, and City of Ottawa partners.

The OPS and our partners will do our very best to keep all people healthy and safe. That said, we have a collective responsibility to keep the community healthy and safe. We have to work together to enable everyone - demonstrators, visitors and residents - to get home safely to their families and loved ones.

We will do everything within our means to enable a peaceful, safe and healthy demonstration - this includes a timely departure of all demonstrators.

I will now hand it over to Acting Deputy Chief Trish Ferguson, who leads the OPS response to the upcoming demonstrations this weekend.

Deputy Ferguson will provide a more in-depth briefing on the planning and operational framework for the demonstrations.

Acting Deputy Chief Trish Ferguson Comments

Good morning,

Thank you all for being here today. This briefing will provide you with the most up to date information on the preparation for this weekend’s demonstrations in Ottawa.

I realize there is a great deal of interest in this event from our community and in fact, across the country.

The Ottawa Police Service is the lead agency and has overall command of this event.

Over the last few days our team has been finalizing operational plans in anticipation of the demonstrations.

Planning has involved coordination with our policing and intelligence partners at all levels of government and the Ottawa Police would like to thank them for their ongoing cooperation.

Information gathered continues to indicate this will be a large and significant event that is expected to last through the weekend.

We anticipate demonstrators will arrive from several different directions in large numbers with many heavy vehicles and trucks.

Over the last few days, we have received feedback and questions from members of our community.

Today, I will provide information relating to the most common and pressing issues for our residents so that everyone understands and is aware of our approach.

Traffic and Parking

We remain in regular contact with the many convoy organizers to understand their plan and to ensure they have information relative to safe driving routes and appropriate locations to park in the city. We want to ensure demonstrators can arrive and leave as efficiently and safely as possible.

The truck convoy will be directed to these specific areas as they arrive in Ottawa. City staff have been making sure appropriate signage is clearly visible including no-stopping or prohibited parking zones.

We have identified and will maintain open lanes of traffic for our first responders in emergencies throughout the course of the demonstrations.

This work has been coordinated with our partners at the City and I want to extend our thanks to our City of Ottawa colleagues for their ongoing support and tireless efforts.

Ensuring a Safe Demonstration

Our officers are here to protect the rights of individuals to demonstrate peacefully and in accordance with the law. We are also entrusted to intervene when violence and laws are broken and to restore peace. Our focus will be to preserve the safety of everyone involved; this includes Ottawa residents, demonstrators and police members.

Residents, visitors and demonstrators will see a very large police presence over the weekend. We will have officers on foot, in plain clothes and using a variety of methods to conduct evidence gathering and observation of crowds. Demonstrators and residents can expect to see our members in different uniforms, with a variety of equipment on their person and in different vehicles.

We have reassigned and deployed Ottawa Police officers and we have called for assistance from other police agencies to ensure we have appropriate resources to manage any eventuality.

We have already consulted with the Crown Attorney to ensure they are aware of our plans and approach.

While representatives from the convoy have been cooperative and have informed us that their intentions are to hold a peaceful and lawful demonstration, we are aware of other groups and individuals who are likely to attend and are not associated with the main demonstration, groups who do not share the same peaceful goals.

I would like to state that public safety is paramount. There will be consequences for any persons engaging in or inciting criminal or violent behaviour. We are prepared to deal with any such incidents including making arrests and laying charges as appropriate. 

Messages to Local Community

To our fellow citizens of Ottawa, we appreciate that area businesses and residents are concerned, particularly about information they are seeing online. We want to assure them we are taking every action possible to mitigate the impacts of this event on daily life in the city.

Even with those efforts, this will have a significant impact on traffic. The stated goal of demonstrators is to disrupt traffic to bring attention to their cause.

It is simple. If you don’t need be downtown this weekend, avoid the area.

For those of you who live downtown, expect delays and major traffic disruptions.

Make adjustments to schedules whether it be for groceries, shopping, work, medical appointments or deliveries.

It will be more difficult to move around, especially by vehicle.

We will work to keep you updated.

We ask that you rely on trusted sources like our Twitter feed (@OttawaPolice) as well as the City of Ottawa’s feed @Ottawa_Traffic.

Finally, 

I call on everyone involved in this weekend’s event to be respectful of one another and the businesses and people that live here.

This pandemic has been hard on all Canadians. It is important that we show compassion for one another while exercising our rights. That includes the local community, the demonstrators and police officers who are working to keep everyone safe.

As the police service for the Nation’s Capital, our officers have kept the peace at hundreds of demonstrations every year. These veteran officers know how to ensure that everyone who attends goes home safely.

I want to thank all the officers who will be engaged this weekend. This will be hard work, in cold weather and their professionalism and dedication to this city and its citizens is remarkable.

January 26, 2022: Significant traffic disruptions expected this weekend due to demonstrations

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is advising the public that demonstrations expected in Ottawa throughout the weekend, starting Friday, will have significant impacts on traffic throughout the area.

Residents and visitors can expect to see a large police and emergency services presence in the Downtown core and on major highways and roads. Traffic delays and congestion will occur and may occur on a large scale.

Police and the City of Ottawa will keep the public informed on city-wide traffic and transit.

We ask that members of the public avoid unnecessary travel, especially in the downtown core, this weekend, if possible. If you do travel, plan ahead and expect significant delays.

Follow the city’s traffic management tool @Ottawa_Traffic for real-time updates or utilize a traffic monitoring app like Google or Waze to check for traffic congestion before you travel.

Today, the Ottawa Police Services Board hosted a special meeting and the Ottawa Police provided details on their approach for these events. You can find out more about the information shared on the City Council YouTube page.

Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Follow us at @OttawaPolice for more details.