Canada Day: Family picnic at Strathcona Park canceled after War Memorial arrests

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The Police on Guard Family Day Picnic scheduled for Strathcona Park on Friday has been cancelled, organizers say.

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Police on Guard for Thee, which was hosting the event, made the announcement on Twitter, citing an incident at the National War Memorial on Thursday night in which a police officer was allegedly suffocated and four people were arrested.

« Unfortunately there was a violent incident at the War Memorial tonight following the departure of James Topp and his crew, » he tweeted. “We cannot put children in potential danger. So we err on the side of caution. »

Made up of serving and retired police officers, Police on Guard for Thee opposes numerous warrants related to COVID-19.

Thursday night’s incident followed the arrival at the memorial of Topp, the Canadian soldier who marched to Ottawa from Vancouver to Ottawa.

Opposing vaccination mandates and other COVID-19 measures, Topp was charged by the military in February with two counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline for remarks made while he was wearing his uniform.

At the memorial on Thursday, the Army reservist gave a speech to around 1,200 people. «

“I met thousands of people on my journey from Vancouver to Ottawa,” he said, “and many of them have lost hope. They feel lost. They are angry. They have lost faith in the system. We have already started something.

« Answer the call, » he added. « Assemble. Organize. Plan. What’s the answer? Nonviolence. Peace. »

Earlier today, Tory leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre joined Topp on the final leg of his March to Freedom.

Meanwhile, Ottawa by-law officers continued to target cars in the ‘exclusion zone’, with 275 tickets issued and 79 vehicles towed in the past 24 hours.

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To avoid a repeat of the « freedom convoy » that passed much of downtown Ottawa last January and February, Ottawa police called in RCMP reinforcements as the city has a « vehicle exclusion zone » in effect around Parliament Hill. Mayor Jim Watson urged people to come downtown to celebrate Canada Day in person and not be intimidated or intimidated by those who might try to disrupt the celebration.

Most official Friday ceremonies are held at LeBreton Flats, in front of the Canadian War Museum.


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