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Ottawa Police Start Limiting Access to 'Downtown Core'...


Ottawa trucker protest

Ottawa Police Start Limiting Access to ‘Downtown Core’ to Curb Protests

Workers erect crowd control gates in front of the Parliament Hill on Feb. 17. Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg
17 Feb 2022 0

(Bloomberg) --Police in Canada’s capital city have begun blocking off the downtown core with barriers and fences in a move against protesters who have occupied the streets for nearly three weeks.

By Patrick McHale and Derek Decloet
Feb 17, 2022, 8:23 PM – Updated on Feb 17, 2022, 9:28 PM
Word Count: 384
“Only those with lawful reason to enter the core, such as residents, businesses and others with lawful reasons, will be allowed in the area,” Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell said on Twitter. “The unlawful protesters must leave the area and will not be provided access.”

For a second consecutive day, Ottawa police handed out flyers warning of criminal charges and vehicle seizures for anyone who doesn’t leave the protest zone. The area has been declared a prohibited public assembly under emergency legislation invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

Hundreds of protesters were still refusing to go, blocking the roadway in front of Canada’s parliament and on adjacent streets. The first demonstrators arrived on Jan. 28; they’re calling for an end to vaccine mandates and other Covid-19 restrictions.

The protests have grown into the thousands on weekends, so police are particularly focused on deterring people from deciding to join the crowds. It’s a holiday long weekend in Canada.

We know you have been through a lot and we are committed to returning your streets back normal.

We know that the increased police presence may be distressing to some. They are here to keep you safe and complete our mission.

— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) February 17, 2022
Police were also seen putting up tall fencing around government buildings. The police service has scheduled a news conference for 3:30 p.m. Ottawa time.

Trudeau kicked off formal debate on his use of emergency powers Thursday with a speech in the House of Commons, saying the situation “could not be dealt with under any other law in Canada.”

He said the blockades in Ottawa and at border crossings between Canada and the U.S. are “a threat to our economy and relationship with trading partners. They’re threats to supply chains and the availability of essential goods like food and medicine. They’re a threat to public safety.”

But the opposition Conservatives accused Trudeau of resorting too quickly to emergency powers and of freezing bank accounts of protesters without evidence of extremist activity.

Read More: Banks Get Protesters’ Names as Canada Financial Squeeze Hits


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