RCMP to deploy additional resources to deal with Ottawa convoy protesters

The RCMP will provide additional officers to the City of Ottawa to help deal with the convoy protesters.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendocino said he had a “productive call” with Ottawa mayor Jim Watson on Thursday night after a request was submitted asking for additional resources.

“The convoy in Ottawa has caused significant disruption to local residents – including vandalism, harassment, expressions of hate and violence and ongoing obstruction of many essential services,” Mendocino said in a statement. “The community is entitled to expect that the law is upheld and enforced by police, and that public safety is maintained.”

The request is in addition to RCMP resources which have already been deployed since the arrival of the convoy last weekend.

“Ottawans deserve to feel safe in their community. Federal public safety partners, including the RCMP, will continue to work closely with the City, OPS and all stakeholders to ensure that our laws are upheld and that public safety is maintained.”

Watson said he spoke with Mendicino Thursday to reiterate the city’s call for additional resources to support police officers responding to the demonstration.

“He assured me that our request for assistance was being given the highest consideration by (RCMP) Commissioner Lucki, and he offered his ongoing support until we see an end to the occupation,” Watson said in a statement to city council.

Watson said a special council meeting will be held Monday to discuss the impact the truck convoy demonstration has had on residents and businesses.

Meanwhile, Ottawa police say they are implementing “a surge and contain strategy” in the city’s downtown neighbourhoods to help further protect residents.

“Ottawa’s downtown residents and businesses continue to be severely impacted by unlawful acts, including harassment, mischief, hate crimes, and noise violations,” reads an update from the Ottawa Police Service. “We know that additional demonstrators are coming, and we are significantly increasing our policing resources to respond.”

The force will deploy an additional 150 officers to patrol the impacted neighbourhoods and plans to expand the perimeter of the “demonstration red zone.”


RELATED: Military response to Ottawa protest ‘not in the cards,’ Trudeau says


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau played down the notion of a military response to the ongoing Ottawa protest, saying that sending in troops is “not in the cards right now.”

One must be “very, very cautious” about deploying troops on Canadian soil in such cases, Trudeau said at a news conference Thursday. “It is not something that anyone should enter in lightly.”

The federal priority remains “being there for the citizens of Ottawa,” he said.

Ottawa Coun. Catherine McKenney, who represents downtown, posted a letter on Twitter addressed to the prime minister and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, requesting that the federal government and RCMP assume “full operational control” of Parliament Hill.

“I am aware that there has been no official request from the city or the Ottawa Police Services for the RCMP to assume responsibility for the Hill, however, as the councillor for that area, I am making that official request,” McKenney said.

As people in Ottawa grow more frustrated and weary from the presence of noisy protesters, discussions about staging counter-movements are taking place.

Ottawa resident Mackenzie Demers is organizing a counter-protest slated to take place Saturday. The time and location of the gathering have not yet been shared due to safety concerns, he said in a post online.

Jeremy Owen, creator of the petition on Change.org stating that “Ottawa police must evict freedom convoy,” posted an update to signatories that “an action” was planned for Saturday on Elgin Street, south of the parliamentary precinct. As of late Thursday, the petition had received over 29,000 signatures.

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