Canada Day: Celebrations, events planned in Ottawa
Thousands of people converge on downtown Ottawa to celebrate Canada’s 155th birthday, as police and city officials prepare for possible protests against COVID-19 vaccines and restrictions.
It’s Ottawa’s first in-person Canada Day in three years, after COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of events in 2020 and 2021. Major Canada Day festivities take place at LeBreton Flats Park, west of downtown Ottawa, and at Place des Festivals Zibi in Gatineau.
Main events include a daytime ceremony and evening show at LeBreton Flats, family-friendly activities and fireworks at 10 p.m.
While there are no Canada Day events scheduled on Parliament Hill this year due to construction on Center Block, several events are planned for the area on Friday afternoon. The Freedom Fights Canada website says a « March to Freedom » will take place at 3:30 p.m., followed by speeches, live music and DJs on Parliament Hill from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A « family picnic » organized by the group Police on Guard for Thee at a nearby park has been canceled, with organizers citing « a recent incident in Ottawa ». However, no further details were provided.
A visible police presence patrolled the Parliamentary Precinct and roads around downtown Ottawa on Friday morning, with a motor vehicle control zone set up to prevent vehicles from stopping or joining protests.
Any vehicle stopping or parking in the control area will be ticketed and towed away, while police say any vehicle taking part in the protests will be banned from entering the area.
On Friday morning, officers from Ottawa’s By-law Services issued 275 parking tickets and towed 72 vehicles from the vehicle screening area. Regulators also increased fines for making unusual noise, shouting, urinating or defecating on roads and sidewalks, blocking a freeway and idling. Fines are now $1,000.
Despite their presence, Ottawa police say it is safe for families to come downtown for Canada Day events.
« Come on, don’t worry. It’s a festival. It’s to celebrate Canada, which is why we’ve gone so far as to put in place the plans and resources around it, » the chef said. acting Steve Bell. Evan Solomon Show Thursday. « It will be a safe environment, which is why we are here to make sure of that. »
Four people were arrested following an incident at the National War Memorial on Thursday, shortly after Canadian Forces veteran James Topp completed his march across the country to protest against vaccination mandates against the COVID-19.
« We are reviewing the video and investigating the incident at the National War Memorial tonight, » police said on Twitter late Thursday. ‘Initial investigation reveals an interaction with officers became confrontational and 1 officer was suffocated. Other officers responded immediately, 4 people were arrested.’
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls on Canadians to renew their commitment to the country’s values on Canada Day, including respect, hope and kindness.
In his official Canada Day message, the Prime Minister said July 1 is an opportunity to commit to the values that the maple leaf represents.
« It’s also a promise – a promise of opportunity, a promise of safety for those fleeing violence and war, and a promise of a better life, » he said.
With files from The Canadian Press