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Ottawa police preparing for possible weekend protests on ‘Freedom Convoy’ anniversary

Ottawa police Chief Eric Stubbs says resources, tow trucks and staffing plans are in place as the city prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the “Freedom Convoy.” 

On Jan. 28 and 29, 2022, thousands of people gathered on streets in front of Parliament Hill with trucks and big rigs, protesting COVID-19 restrictions and the Liberal government.

Ottawa police say they are ready for the possibility that the one-year anniversary of the start of the protest could spark another one, but Stubbs would not reveal details of what police believe is planned or how many demonstrators are expected.

The noisy and disruptive protests a year ago lasted more than three weeks, and Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill has remained closed to traffic ever since.

City council is set to decide on whether to reopen the street on Thursday, and while the police chief says he supports reopening he also says issues need to be addressed before that happens. 

Stubbs says he will be updating the police services board about the force’s plans for the weekend at their meeting Monday afternoon. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2023. 

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press