Ottawa City Council to discuss chief’s plea for help as protesters continue to supply convoy

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The latest developments in the protest:

  • Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly wants help “turning up the heat” on protesters.
  • Police have made 20 protest-related arrests since Friday, Sloly said.
  • Light rail is the only means of transportation that passes through downtown Ottawa.
  • Confederation Park is cleared of protesters and fenced off.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson expects today’s emergency city council meeting to provide more answers on the use of police resources in response to an ongoing protest against the anti mandate -vaccine, as well as a motion for an independent review of the actions of public servants and politicians.

City councilors will gather for a special meeting today at 1 p.m. ET.

On Friday, Police Chief Peter Sloly said he did not have enough personnel to end the protest, which stretched into the 11th day in the nation’s capital, and on CBC Radio Ottawa morning On Monday, Watson said requests would be made to the federal and provincial governments for more officers to help.

“We’re going to need a lot more police resources to bring some semblance of order to get more presence in neighborhoods,” Watson said.

Regarding his own questions to Sloly, Watson said he plans to ask when residents can expect to see the increased police presence.

Midday Monday, Sloly told reporters that the new police strategy announced on Friday had helped reduce the protest this weekend compared to the previous weekend. He said police were now making gradual progress towards ending the protest, but further help would “increase the pressure” on protesters and end it more quickly.

WATCH | Ottawa Police Chief’s Monday update:

Ottawa police target support systems for convoy protest, chief says

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said officers targeted funding sources and confiscated fuel in an attempt to put down the protest, but they will need more resources to be successful. 2:09

Watson says he is also aware that a motion is before council for “a full, independent and comprehensive review” of the decisions and actions of the various levels of government and the city, including the police force, in response to the demonstration in progress.

This post-mortem examination will be completed once the situation downtown is resolved, he said.

State of emergency: what will it be used for?

Watson explained that the municipal state of emergency, announced on Sunday, is “primarily an administrative tool” that allows staff to “work around supply regulations if we need equipment, supplies,” in response to this which he called an occupation of downtown Ottawa and surrounding neighborhoods.

This tool, he said, gives the city manager more authority and makes staff “more nimble” to buy whatever is needed in response to the protest, without a long series of consultations and agreements.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said a motion would be brought to council to examine the mistakes of decision-makers when handling the response to the protests. (Felix Desroches/Radio-Canada)

“This [also] sends a signal to the other two levels of government that this is a serious situation and that we will need their continued support in terms of additional police,” Watson said.

Over the weekend, City Solicitor David White told city councilors that the declaration of a state of emergency “doesn’t do much” in terms of legal authority and does not give no more power to the Ottawa police.

In a statement, Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said politicians cannot direct the police, but discussions are underway “to ensure [Ottawa police] have all the necessary resources they need to keep their community safe. »

Ottawa caught between “2 warring factions”

When asked if the mayor would take to the streets and engage with protesters, Watson said the matter was beyond his purview.

“This is a federal issue, not a municipal issue. We’re caught between these two warring factions,” said Watson, who added he would meet with protest organizers about their “grievances.” “after the end of the demonstration.

WATCH | U of O criminology professor on Ottawa’s ‘impasse’:

Ottawa in ‘standoff’ between police and protesters, expert says

The “hardcore” protesters are staying in downtown Ottawa and not leaving, says Michael Kempa, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa. This has led to a “standoff” which gives the police and the city an opportunity to defuse the situation. 4:59

He also said he had suggested to his federal counterparts that they use a “high-level, respected state figure” to act as a mediator between the protesters and the decision-makers, and to find a solution to resolve this dead end.

“There seems to be little movement on either side,” he said. “I’m not going to condone their activities by showing up and chatting with them. I want them gone.”

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