An Ottawa police officer says this Canada Day will be "unprecedented and unique" with a never-before-seen security posture as the main events take place off Parliament Hill and protests are planned throughout the day.
Police are aware of the demonstrations and are “planning accordingly,” said the officer.
Canadian Heritage and police held a technical briefing Friday on their plans for July 1. Media were only allowed to participate on the condition that officials not be named.
Ottawa and Gatineau police discussed their security plans as groups opposed to COVID-19 restrictions are pledging to demonstrate throughout downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill.
While Ottawa police will protect everyone's right to lawfully and peacefully demonstrate, "we will not allow for the conditions that led to the unlawful protests in February to reoccur," the officer said, referring to the “Freedom Convoy” protest that gridlocked downtown streets for three weeks.
The police service is applying lessons learned from the convoy protest and more recent rallies to build its plan and expects that staffing and resource requirements will be significant this year, the officer said.
At the request of the city, police will also continue to prohibit vehicle-based protests in the areas "in and around places of national significance," said the officer.
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