February 15, 2022
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Ontario Provincial Police are set to take over enforcement of the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa, the federal government announced Tuesday.
In a statement to the press, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said that the government is setting up an integrated command centre for the RCMP and the OPP to share and assume command and control over the ongoing protests that brought the capital city’s downtown core to a halt, the Canadian Press reported.
Mendicino said the federal government’s focus is to ensure the Ottawa police, as well as the RCMP and OPP, have all the necessary means to restore public order and bring an end to the protests, which have been ongoing for more than two weeks.
Mendicino’s remarks follow the resignation of Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly and heavy criticism over the city’s apparent inability to bring the protests to a halt. Despite taking a hard stance against the truck drivers, whom he accused of engaging in “harmful” activities and promoting “hatred,” Sloly faced criticism for not doing enough to quell the peaceful protest by progressive politicians and members of the press.
The protests began some two weeks ago when cross-country truckers across Canada converged on the capital city to protest the imposition of vaccine mandates and other restrictions, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act over on Monday to quell.