August 8, 2022

The primary in-person Canada Day celebrations in three years on Friday will embody an enormous police presence and road closures all through downtown Ottawa to forestall anti-government “freedom” protesters from disrupting the festivities.

As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the free live shows and different actions normally held on the nationwide vacation, which celebrates the founding of the nation, have been final held in 2019.

“This can be a time to have a good time who we’re and popping out of a two-year pandemic,” Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino mentioned on Wednesday, encouraging individuals to participate within the festivities.

“There could also be some effort amongst a small minority to attempt to trigger disturbances or worse,” he mentioned.

A number of teams are planning marches and even a dance celebration to protest coronavirus vaccination mandates, globalization and what they are saying is authorities overreach in Canada.

A number of the similar organizers have been behind a truck convoy that blocked Ottawa’s downtown core round parliament for 3 weeks this previous winter, inflicting a disaster that resulted in dozens of arrests. Separate protests throughout the identical interval snarled worldwide journey and commerce at border crossings.

Earlier this week, Ottawa’s interim Police Chief Steve Bell mentioned he anticipated tons of of hundreds of individuals to take part within the metropolis’s celebrations, however he didn’t understand how many individuals deliberate on becoming a member of the protests.

James Topp, a former soldier and one of many organizers, has mentioned that the protests will probably be peaceable.

To maintain autos from blocking the streets, many of the downtown core will probably be closed to visitors, and officers are encouraging individuals to take free public transit as a substitute of driving. The celebrations will begin within the morning and finish with live shows and fireworks within the night.

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A number of police forces, together with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), are being introduced in to assist. The town not too long ago raised fines to C$1,000 ($850) for sure violations together with “uncommon noise” – just like the blaring of auto horns – and blocking a freeway.