The primary in-person Canada Day celebrations in three years kicked off on Friday with an enormous police presence and road closures all through downtown Ottawa to forestall anti-government “freedom” protesters from disrupting the festivities.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the free concert events and different actions often held on the nationwide vacation, which celebrates the founding of the nation, have been final held in 2019.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the beginning of the festivities together with his spouse and three children. He shook palms with members of the gang with out incident, and in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, stated a distinction in views was one of many nation’s strengths.
“The important thing on Canada Day is we do not simply rejoice Canada, we rejoice Canadians. We rejoice one another, and meaning listening to one another, respecting one another… That is a part of the resilience of Canada,” Trudeau stated.
One of many protest organizers – Police on Guard for Thee – stated on Twitter it had canceled an occasion billed as a household picnic after an altercation on the Battle Memorial resulted in 4 arrests Thursday.
James Topp, a former soldier and one of many organizers, had spoken on the Battle Memorial earlier than the incident, however was not concerned within the skirmish. Police stated an officer had been choked and that it was investigating the scuffle.
A number of teams have deliberate marches and even a dance get together to protest coronavirus vaccination mandates, globalization and what they are saying is authorities overreach in Canada.
A few of the identical 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 stated he anticipated lots of of 1000’s of individuals to take part within the metropolis’s celebrations, although a a lot smaller crowd had gathered throughout the morning.
To maintain automobiles from blocking the streets, a lot of the downtown core is closed to site visitors, and officers are encouraging individuals to take free public transit as a substitute of driving. The music and celebrations will finish with fireworks within the night.