Hells Angels national meet

About 700 Hells Angels bikers and associates are expected to descend on a rural Quebec town this weekend for their annual national gathering.

Quebec provincial police say they'll be keeping close tabs when the so-called Canada Run is held in St-Charles-sur-Richelieu, about 60 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

The mandatory meeting for the roughly 500 full-patch members nationwide changes province every year, with last year's edition held in Calgary and the 2016 version taking place in Carlsbad Springs, near Ottawa.

Insp. Guy Lapointe of the Quebec provincial police says the event is meant as a show of force to authorities as well as rival organized crime groups.

For police, it presents a unique opportunity to gather intelligence on the Hells.

Lapointe says there will be a heavy police presence and that authorities are vowing to make sure that laws are followed and locals in the town of 1,700 aren't bothered by the biker gang's presence.

The gathering returns to Quebec for the first time in a decade: it was held in St-Pie, not far from St-Hyacinthe, in 2008.

Many Hells members are staying in hotels in nearby St-Hyacinthe this time around.

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