Ottawa police threaten protesters with arrest via flyer
Steph Deschamps / February 17, 2022
Ottawa police warned truckers still paralyzing downtown Ottawa on Wednesday that they could be arrested if they continued their 20-day protest against health measures.
You must leave now. Anyone blocking traffic lanes, or helping others to do so, is committing a criminal offence or can be arrested, it says on the document, which police officers distributed to protesters. We are not going to use force, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday. We've now given more tools to law enforcement, to local police..., he added, saying it was time for this to end. Hundreds of trucks are still parked on the streets of the downtown area of the federal capital. Jan Grouin, 42, a trucker who has been present since the beginning of the movement, regrets that Justin Trudeau does not come to talk to them. Being dislodged this week would be a surprise, he says.
Still, the city's new police chief expressed confidence Tuesday. I'm confident we've reached the turning point, said Bell. With the new resources, the tools that the provincial government and the federal government have put in place, I believe we have the ability to safely end this occupation, he added. On the same day, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, who was heavily criticized for his handling of the crisis, resigned. In Emerson, Manitoba, the last remaining border blockade, police estimated Wednesday that passage to the U.S. would reopen in a few hours.
Faced with this national crisis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the Emergency Measures Act, a provision that allows for the use of extraordinary measures. This is only the second time this provision has been used in peacetime, the last time being during the 1970 crisis when Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the current Prime Minister's father, was in power. Initially minimized by the authorities, the Canadian protest movement that began in late January started with truckers protesting the requirement to be vaccinated to cross the Canada-U.S. border. But the demands extended to a rejection of the entire health measures and, for many demonstrators, to a rejection of Justin Trudeau's government.