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Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly resigns amid Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests

Police are expected to begin towing trucks out of Ottawa ‘within days’ after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave himself emergency powers

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 16 February 2022 13:54 GMT
US version of 'Freedom Convoy' will travel to Washington DC, says organizer

Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly has resigned amid criticisms of his handling of the “Freedom Convoy” protests that have encircled Canada’s capital city, according to government officials.

Ottawa City Councillor Riley Brockington confirmed the resignation, saying on Twitter that an official announcement would be made by the Police Services Board following a meeting with the Ottawa City on Tuesday afternoon.

It comes after two weeks of demonstrations by “Freedom Convoy” truckers protesting the government’s Covid-19 mandates.

The inability of Ottawa to disperse the protesters led Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give himself emergency powers to end the dissent against his government’s policies.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the Emergencies Act would give police authority to begin towing away vehicles.

“We need law enforcement to take the reins, to utilize the Emergencies Act and to enforce,” he said late Monday after Trudeau announced he was invoking the law. “We have given new powers to police and we need them to do the job now.”

A protester against Covid vaccine mandates imposed by prime minister Justin Trudeau (REUTERS)

The authority allows the Trudeau government to make protests illegal at border crossings, airports and in Ottawa; as well as freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts; suspend their licenses, and target crowd-funding sites being used to donate to them.

It also can also force tow truck drivers who support the protests to move the big rigs against out of intersections and neighbourhoods.

Mr Mendicino said they were still working out the final details on where the prohibited zones will be, while Ontario Premier Doug Ford added police would move in within the next few days or “hopefully sooner”.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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