Ottawa Police Enlist RCMP Support for Canada Day Festivities

Ottawa police enlist the RCMP for Canada Day festivities as the agency prepares for possible protests around Canada’s birthday.

A report for the Ottawa Police Services Board calls for special police officer status for 491 RCMP officers to respond to events surrounding Canada Day, with operations scheduled from Monday, June 27 to July 4.

“And other major events taking place through November 30, 2022,” employees say.

Ottawa deploys motor vehicle control zone in downtown Ottawa for Canada Day

The agency is asking for the extension of special agent appointments to 291 officers sworn in earlier in April for the Rolling Thunder engine protest. The board is also being asked to approve the appointment of up to 200 additional RCMP officers with special police officer status.

The special police officer status allows officers to carry out the “full scope of their assigned duties,” the report said.

All appointments and reappointments are valid until November 30, 2022.

In April, the Ottawa Police Services Board approved special police officer status for 831 RCMP officers through July 4. The two and a half month appointments were pending additional events and demonstrations in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Police Department’s interim chief Steve Bell and senior command will provide an update on Canada Day plans at Monday’s Ottawa Police Services Board meeting.

The agency said last week it was aware of planned protests for Canada Day, and promised not to allow a repeat of the occupation of the “Freedom Convoy” that took over central Ottawa in January and February.

“We will bring several additional police assets from different services,” the police said.

“The right to legal and peaceful demonstrations will always be protected. We will not allow the circumstances that led to the illegal protests in February to repeat our plan.”

On Thursday, the City of Ottawa unveiled plans for a motor vehicle control zone in the parliamentary district and through the downtown area.

From June 29 at 8am to July 4 at 6am, a motor vehicle control zone will be established in an area extending from Colonel By Drive/Sussex Drive to the east, Wellington Street to the north, Booth Street to the west and Laurier Avenue to the south. There will also be some road closures in the control zone from July 1 at 12:01 am to July 2 at 2 am.

The city says the roads will not be closed and that residential and business traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport will be allowed to enter and leave the control zone.

“Motor vehicles participating in any form of demonstration, event, protest or rally are not allowed,” the city said. “Barricades, heavy equipment or police officers and vehicles will be placed at various entry points around the control zone, to filter the legal traffic on those streets.”

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