Ottawa police call on RCMP to save Canada Day

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City police are asking for special constable status for up to 491 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to help patrol around Canada Day – when more ‘freedom of movement’ protests are expected alongside the celebrations – and at “other major events” until the end of November.

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The Ottawa Police Services Board will be asked at a Monday meeting to extend existing special constable status to up to 291 RCMP employees and approve the appointment of up to 200 more to call « at as and when the need arises within the framework of this event”.

Special agent status “will allow these officers to perform their full range of duties,” Ottawa police said in a report to the board.

Canada Day events take place from June 27 to July 4, but nominations and renewals would be valid until November 30.

In April, the council approved the appointment of up to 831 RCMP employees who could be made available as reinforcements at the « Rolling Thunder » biker rally.

Ottawa police have asked the Police Services Board not to display the names of RCMP members « in accordance with operational security requirements. »

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Ottawa police would normally ask the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General first, “but, in urgent circumstances”, seek both ministry and council approval to expedite the swearing-in.

Ottawa Police are also asking the board to delegate authority to President Eli El-Chantiry and Vice President Suzanne Valiquet to approve any further applications for special agent status.

“This will allow the OPS to meet new resource needs throughout the duration of the event.

City police said last week they expected both a larger than usual Canada Day celebration and an increase in protests and demonstrations with a plan for a « major increase of the number of officers and the support of several other police forces.

In a statement, the force alluded to the « freedom convoy » which crippled the core for three weeks over the winter.

“We will not allow the conditions that led to the illegal protests in February to happen again. We are applying lessons learned from the illegal protest as well as the Rolling Thunder and associated protests to develop our plan,” police said.

“Freedom” protesters are set to return to the heart of anti-vaccine mandate events on June 30 and Canada Day.

The City of Ottawa has announced that a “motor vehicle control zone” will be in effect from June 29 to July 4.


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