OTTAWA — The Parliamentary Protective Service expects 500 people to gather this weekend to mark a year since the "Freedom Convoy" occupied downtown Ottawa.
The agency, which polices the precinct, said it will curtail some access to Parliament Hill.
The public can still use the central and east gates to access the Hill lawn, but not the gates closest to the West Block, where the Liberals are holding their caucus meeting this weekend.
The protective service said public tours have been cancelled.
Ottawa police say they don't have an estimate of how many demonstrators are expected on city streets.
The protective service also said Ottawa police will enforce the closure of Wellington Street, in front of Parliament Hill, to traffic.
The area's city councillor, Ariel Troster, said that demonstrators have a permit for a “dance party” on Parliament Hill but not for the areas controlled by the city, which includes Wellington Street.
On Twitter, she wrote Friday that the city will increase staffing of the 311 phone line this weekend to respond to any incidents.
“City staff strongly affirmed there will be zero tolerance for hate crimes,” Troster wrote in a message to local residents.
In its own news release Thursday, the City of Ottawa said police might implement "temporary closures to manage large volumes of traffic, if necessary."
The city said drivers should anticipate delays in the downtown core, adding that parking has been restricted throughout the area.
Meanwhile, bylaw officers will guard against "flagrant violation of municipal regulations," the city said, particularly "regarding parking, noise, litter and fireworks." Ottawa allows fireworks only on the days surrounding Canada Day and Victoria Day.
"The city values a diversity of minds, perspectives and lived experiences and denounces any displays of hate and racism," the municipality noted.
OC Transpo says it plans to maintain regular transit service in the capital.
A subcommittee of Ottawa city council voted this week to reopen Wellington Street to cars as soon as March, after a yearlong closure. The full council will vote on that proposal in early February.
Large trucks occupied the street for weeks last year, and were only removed after the Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act.
Demonstrators came with a range of grievances, with many focused on COVID-19 health measures, while others espoused conspiracy theories and displayed images related to far-right extremism.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.
Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Ottawa city council had voted to reopen Wellington Street.