Convoy of freedom: Ottawa police first applied the normal plan in the event of demonstrations

A senior Ottawa police officer said Thursday that to prepare for the ‘freedom convoy’ demonstration in January, assuming it would last no more than two days, the service first presented the plan that had already been used for other events downtown.

Ottawa Police Service Acting Deputy Chief Patricia Ferguson testifies Thursday before the public inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act in February.

Ms Ferguson said on Thursday that in hindsight she would have given more credence to early warnings from the OPP and other intelligence that suggested the group of protesters planned to stay for weeks in the capital. federal.

She admits her police department was aware of the warnings, but checked them against other information and ultimately stuck to their usual plan for events downtown.

Ms. Ferguson said it was only after the first weekend of protests that Ottawa police realized they had to correct the situation.

The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on February 14, in an attempt to dislodge protesters occupying downtown streets and in front of Parliament Hill.

This exceptional law, which had never been used since its adoption in 1988, notably grants the police extraordinary temporary powers.

The State of Emergency Commission, chaired by Judge Paul Rouleau, is also expected to hear from Ontario Provincial Police Superintendent Craig Abrams on Thursday.

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