Ottawa police say they have been in touch with leaders of a trucker convoy over weekend protest plans in the capital and are getting ready for a several scenarios — including violence.
Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly told the police services board today that he is working with the RCMP and intelligence bodies to prepare for the protests against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.
Sloly says the convoy organizers have been co-operative in telling police about their plans for the protest, which he predicts could last several days, but the situation is evolving rapidly.
Deputy Chief Steve Bell says Ottawa police are "tracing parallel groups" that are preparing to join the truckers, as well as counter-protesters, and are monitoring social media.
Ottawa police estimate there could be up to 2,000 demonstrators, but this number is shifting quickly, and warn residents against travelling downtown during the event.
Sloly says that while police support the right to peaceful protest, officers will be prepared to move protesters out of the demonstration zone should the situation become violent or threatening.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.
The Canadian Press