Canada Protest Live Updates: Several Streets Remain Closed, Windsor Police Say

Live Updates
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada's history Monday. The rare move provides extra power to the government to end the ongoing demonstrations.
  • Canada is set to ease international travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals starting Feb. 28.
  • Truckers began to relocate from Ottawa's residential areas to a concentrated street Monday, as part of an agreement between Ottawa's Mayor and convoy leaders.
  • Nearly 50 people have been arrested in connection with protests blocking the Ambassador Bridge. The blockade on the bridge connecting Detroit, Michigan and Canada has impacted about $390 million in daily trade, according to Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
  • GiveSendGo, the platform hosting the "Freedom Convoy" fundraiser, is back online Tuesday after being targeted by hackers over the weekend.
  • Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly resigns after being accused of bullying and volatile behavior that has damaged relations with senior leadership and compromised the force's ability to cope with the truck protest.
  • Deputy Chief Steve Bell is now Interim Chief after Sloly's resignation.
Ottawa protests
Messages and placards of support during a protest by truck drivers over pandemic health rules and the Trudeau government, outside the parliament of Canada in Ottawa on Feb. 14. Ed Jones/Getty Images

Several streets remain closed, Windsor Police say

Windsor Police provided a traffic update in a tweet Tuesday, thanking the public for their patience as several roads remain closed. Authorities are continuing the ongoing security of the Ambassador Bridge and access to businesses.

Windsor Police also laid out a traffic plan near Huron Church Road in conjunction with Windsor EMS and Windsor Fire and Rescue Services.

"Closed roads in the area have and will remain accessible ONLY to emergency services," Windsor Police said in a tweet.

Ottawa Police spend nearly $1M on protests daily

Ongoing demonstrations have cost the Ottawa Police Services more than $14 million to date, or about $785,000 per day.

The figure was provided during the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Those estimates do not include Royal Canadian Mounted Police related services, as they are assisting Ottawa Police in demonstration enforcement.

OPSB Chief Administrative Officer Blair Dunker said the figure will increase as more officers continue to join to assist OPS. OPS has requested 1,800 additional officers; police would not say how many officers have joined them so far.

Ottawa Police Interim Chief Steve Bell would not provide detail about OPS plans to end the demonstrations or a timetable, only saying, "there is absolutely a plan."

"I believe we now have the resources and powers to bring a safe end to this occupation," Bell said, adding more resources are on the way.

Ottawa Police say "turning point" reached

Ottawa Police Deputy Chief Steve Bell says he is confident a "turning point" has been reached in ongoing efforts to control demonstrations across Canada's capital.

Bell said the current numbers of protestors and vehicles are the smallest in the red zone to date.

Acting Deputy Chief Patricia Ferguson said the overall number of protestors and vehicles in Ottawa has "dissipated."

Police report 150 protestors were in the street overnight Tuesday, along with 360 vehicles in the downtown core.

Ferguson said those numbers are down "substantially."

She added the demonstration's overall footprint remains "more or less" the same, with the exception of a few trucks that have relocated to Wellington Street from residential areas.

Ferguson says 18 arrests have been made to date along with 3,000 tickets issued. Ottawa Police have dozens of open investigations.

Officials "mutually agreed" on police chief's resignation

During a hearing Tuesday, Ottawa Police Services Board Chair Diane Deans says they "reached a mutually agreed-upon separation" with Peter Sloly in his resignation as police chief.

Deans announced that Deputy Chief Steve Bell will now be Interim Chief. "The board is already working to put in place a new command structure and will be appointing a new Chief very soon," Deans said.

"The board's priority is to ensure a plan is put in place to bring about a peaceful end put to the occupation of our city, and as expeditiously as possible," Deans added.

How the Emergencies Act impacts towing services

How will the Emergencies Act help end the blockades and what does it say about towing services?

Under the act, invoked Monday by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the government is allowed special temporary powers in the event a public order emergency exists.

If all criteria are met, the measures allow the government to order towing companies provide services in the event of a blockade.

The measure reads:

"Measures to authorize or direct any person to render essential services of a type that the person is competent to provide, including services related to removal, towing and storage of any vehicle, equipment, structure or other object that is part of a blockade anywhere in Canada, to relieve the impacts of the blockades on Canada's public and economic safety, including measures to identify those essential services and the persons competent to render them and to provide reasonable compensation in respect of services so rendered."

Canada's Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra was asked of potential consequences should towing companies not comply during a press conference Tuesday.

"It's our hope the tow truck operators are willing to comply," Alghabra answered. If not, "law enforcement agencies will enforce the law."

He added that several blockades have been cleared so far without having to utilize the measures under the Emergencies Act. He said the act provides additional tools to law enforcement to end illegal blockades and protect critical infrastructure.

Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Marco Mendicino was also asked if force would be required to remove all trucks from Ottawa. He answered he certainly hopes not, saying the preference is to keep the peace.

New Ottawa protest fundraiser website goes down

Just one day after its launch, a new fundraising website launched for the trucker convoy protest went down. As of Tuesday morning, $91,710.00 has been pledged.

By Tuesday afternoon, the site showed a "404 - Page Not Found" error message.

According to CTV News, the site named "Freedom Convoy 2022 Family Expense Support," stated that its essential purpose is to "take care of home and family monthly expenses of truckers on the frontlines."

With thousands of dollars pledged and the site being down, donors and recipients now have no way to access the pledges page.

Travel restrictions eased for vaccinated

Canada is relaxing international travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals as cases of COVID-19 decline across the country.

Canada's Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced the changes Tuesday.

Starting Feb. 28:

  • Vaccinated travelers entering Canada must still show a negative COVID-19 result, but can use a rapid test. A molecular test will no longer be required.
  • Unvaccinated children under 12, who traveled with vaccinated adults, no longer need to isolate from school or daycare for two weeks.
  • Canada's non-essential travel advisory will be dropped.
  • All Canadian airports can receive international flights.
  • Random PCR testing will resume for vaccinated travelers, but travelers no longer need to quarantine while awaiting results.
  • Unvaccinated travelers will still need to be tested at the airport and isolate upon arrival for 14 days.

Currently, all travelers must show proof of a negative molecular test within 72 hours of their flight or entry into Canada.

Duclos said the change is possible as Canada has passed the Omicron peak and Canadians have "listened to the science" and "taken steps to protect themselves." However, he urged all travelers to continue to exercise caution when traveling abroad.

During Tuesday's press conference, a reporter asked the health minister if the ongoing demonstrations affected the decision to relax travel rules.

"Every decision that we have taken has been based on science and data which has evolved over the past weeks and months," Duclos answered.

Ottawa official responds to police chief's resignation

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair responds to Peter Sloly resigning as the Ottawa Police Chief.

"Frankly, I'm very saddened by this turn of events, but there is an important job to be done, to restore order, and provide effective policing services to the people of Ottawa," Blair stated.

Sloly resignation comes after being accused of bullying and volatile behavior that has damaged relations with senior leadership and compromised the force's ability to cope with the truck protest.

Protestors remove fence around War Memorial

Protestors continue to camp out at the National War Memorial in Ottawa after taking down barriers protecting the site over the weekend.

A tent has been set up on the memorial grounds, local reporters say campers have a bed and tent inside.

"No Camping" signs are visible around the memorial as tents still stood on the grounds Monday night.

There was also garbage near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Monday afternoon.

Protestors removed the fencing around the memorial over the weekend. It was placed around the site during the beginning of the Ottawa protests, after multiple incidents including someone dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

After removing the fencing Saturday, a group gathered to recite the Lord's Prayer and sang "O Canada."

Trucks again line down Ottawa roads

Trucks continue to block roads through Ottawa's downtown core Tuesday morning, despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoking the Emergencies Act.

City of Ottawa traffic cameras show trucks lined down a snowy Slater Street.

Canada protests
Truckers line the streets near Kent & Queen on Feb 15. City of Ottawa
Trucks line Slater in Ottawa
Trucks continue to line down Slater at Kent on Feb. 15. City of Ottawa

Several trucks began moving out of residential areas onto Wellington Street Monday, as part of an agreement between Ottawa's mayor and convoy leaders.

"We have made a plan to consolidate our protest efforts around Parliament Hill," convoy president Tamara Lich wrote in a letter to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson Saturday.

The City of Ottawa again advised residents of traffic and service impacts on Tuesday, the same message its issued the past two and a half weeks.

"The downtown core will continue to experience most of the traffic impacts," the city wrote. "Residents are advised to avoid non-essential travel in the area."

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly resigns

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has resigned, sources told CBC News Tuesday.

The outlet reports Sloly will make a public announcement following the Ottawa Police Services Board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The special meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday morning but has been rescheduled to 2:30 p.m. Agenda items include briefings on the enhanced integrated command center and intelligence surrounding demonstrations.

Sloly's resignation comes amid criticism of his handling against the ongoing demonstrations in Canada's capital. Protests have continued through the downtown core since the end of January.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act Monday to end the protests and blockades.

Ford government to reopen later this week

With critical public health and health system indicators continuing to improve, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously easing public health measures sooner, with the next phase of efforts being relieved on February 17, 2022.

"Given how well Ontario has done in the Omicron wave, we can fast track our reopening plan," Premier Doug Ford said.

"This is great news and a sign of just how far we've come together in our fight against the virus. While we aren't out of the woods just yet, we are moving in the right direction," Ford added.

Convoy's fundraiser back online after hack

The crowdfunding platform hosting the "Freedom Convoy" fundraiser is back online Tuesday morning after being hacked over the weekend.

More than $9.3 million has been raised on Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo to support the "Freedom Convoy." The fundraising page is also live again as of Tuesday morning.

GiveSendGo broke its silence on the issue Tuesday morning, explaining the platform was attacked by "malicious actors" on Sunday night. GiveSendGo then shut down its site as reports surfaced of donor names being leaked.

"There was a broadcasted breech showing one such actor illegally hacking into GiveSendGo and distributing the names and emails of the donors of the Freedom Convoy Campaign," GiveSendGo tweeted. "However, no credit card information was leaked. No money was stolen."

The platform says a dedicated team is working to identify the hackers and take action against the crimes. GiveSendGo says it performed several security audits prior to bringing the site back online.

In its latest update Saturday, the convoy team addressed donors regarding frozen funds.

"Thank you for your generous donations," the update on the fundraiser page reads.

"Despite news reports, please know that the Ontario Government does not have possession of your donations. The Order announced by the government is only a temporary block of your donations to be passed on to the truckers by Freedom 2022 to the truckers here in Ottawa."

"Our legal team is challenging the government's order and we are working at ways around this."

This is now the convoy's second "official" online fundraiser. GoFundMe shut down the convoy's initial fundraiser on its platform, saying the now violent nature of the demonstrations violated its terms of service.

46 arrested in protests, 90 charges filed

Since the start of the demonstrations, 46 people have been arrested in connection with protests blocking Ambassador Bridge, and 90 charges have been filed, according to Windsor Police.

In an update released Tuesday, police provided the number of people charged and listed the charges attached.

  • 43 charged with breaching a court order
  • 43 charged with mischief over $5000
  • One person is facing a charge of obstructing justice
  • One person is charged with failing to attend court
  • One person charged with dangerous driving
  • One person is facing a Highway Traffic Act Charge for Failing to Remain
  • 37 vehicles were seized/towed since the onset of the demonstrations.

"There will be continued police presence in the demonstration area to ensure public safety. There will be zero tolerance for any unlawful activity. There are ongoing investigations into the protestor's activity," Windsor Police added.

Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act to end protests

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada's history Monday, as demonstrations and blockades continue across the country.

The rare move provides extra powers to the government, including the power to prohibit public assembly. The measures are temporary and the latest effort to end occupations that have plagued Ottawa and Windsor for weeks.

"The scope of these measures will be time-limited, geographically targeted as well as reasonable and proportionate," Trudeau said during Monday's press conference.

Trudeau said the decision comes following discussions with premiers, cabinet and caucus members and opposition leaders.

Concern has grown in recent days as blockades along the Ambassador Bridge have impacted hundreds of millions of dollars in trade.

The blockade along the Ambassador Bridge alone has impacted about $390 million in daily trade, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday. The bridge connects Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Canada.

Alberta leaders opposed to Trudeau using Emergencies Act

On Monday, the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, tweeted opposing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's invocation of the federal Emergencies Act.

"This morning I told Prime Minister Trudeau that Alberta's Government is opposed to the invocation of the federal Emergencies Act," the tweet said.

"We have all of the legal tools and operational resources required to maintain order. The Act would add no relevant additional powers or resources," Kenney added.

Kenney also expressed concern that the invocation of the act would escalate a tense situation.

Truckers begin to leave Ottawa's residential areas

"Freedom Convoy" truckers began moving out of Ottawa's residential neighborhoods Monday, as part of an agreement between Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and leaders of the "Freedom Convoy."

Watson asked organizers to relocate and limit demonstrations along Wellington Street, according to CTV News. Watson's office announced the agreement Sunday following negotiations with the group.

"The convoy leaders have started to act on their commitment to move several trucks from the residential district south of Wellington," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tweeted Monday.

"This is a complex multi-day operation in support of our residents."

At least 16 trucks had relocated from residential streets to Wellington Monday afternoon, according to CTV News. The move comes amid ongoing frustration and safety concerns from residents and business owners in the downtown core.

Organizers of the "Freedom Convoy" agreed to Watson's request to reduce pressure on residents and businesses.

"We have made a plan to consolidate our protest efforts around Parliament Hill," convoy president Tamara Lich wrote in a letter to Watson Saturday.

"We will be working hard over the next 24 hours to get buy in from the truckers. We hope to start repositioning our trucks on Monday."

The convoy kept good on their promise thus far. Traffic cameras show a before and and shot of a downtown Ottawa street where trucks were lined up earlier Monday.

Court grants order to crack down on noise, car idling

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an injunction request from the City of Ottawa Monday against "flagrant and repeated violations" amid ongoing demonstrations.

Ottawa City Solicitor David White called evidence of by-law violations "overwhelming."

"Contraventions of municipal by-laws have negatively impacted the health, safety and well-being of residents and visitors along with the economic and environmental well-being of the municipality," the memo reads.

The order "restrains" demonstrators from setting unlawful fires, shooting fireworks, making noise, encumbering or damaging a highway and idling vehicles.

The Department of Justice and Ontario Attorney General also supported the application.

"The injunction obtained by the City is intended to supplement the tools available to law enforcement authorities to address the unlawful conduct of protestors," the memo states.

Convoy funds frozen, donor names possibly leaked

The "Freedom Convoy's" new fundraising page has been frozen and possibly hacked after raising millions of dollars within days.

More than $8 million was raised on the Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo to support the "Freedom Convoy."

As of Monday, the GiveSendGo site remains down with the message, "application is under maintenance we will be back very soon."

There are additional reports that thousands of donor names were leaked from GiveSendGo; Newsweek has not yet confirmed those claims.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted a request from the provincial government to freeze access to the funds late last week.

GiveSendGo tweeted a fake text message from the "Canadian government" saying funds cannot be released to truckers, asking followers for "funny" reply suggestions.

On Saturday, the platform refuted claims the funds were frozen.

"Please push this out there: The funds from the Freedom Convoy are not frozen contrary to what you might be hearing on the news," GiveSendGo tweeted.

"GiveSendGo is working with many different campaign organizers to find the most effective legal ways to continue funds flowing."

The convoy moved its fundraiser to GiveSendGo after its initial fundraiser on GoFundMe was shut down in early February.

GoFundMe removed the donation page, saying the now violent nature of the demonstrations violates its terms of service. The initial fundraiser gathered more than $10 million; organizers wrote donations would fund fuel, food and lodgings.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with President Joe Biden Friday about the concern of "foreign money" supporting the convoy. In a press conference Friday afternoon, Trudeau said close to half of donations appeared to be from the U.S.

'MAGA Convoy' to mimic Canadian trucker protests

"The MAGA Convoy," named after former president Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," is set to begin on February 25 in Los Angeles, then head to Washington D.C, an email from the organizers said.

The organizers said there would be "many stops in between" Los Angeles and Washington D.C during their journey.

This comes after a large group of truckers, the "Freedom Convoy" in Western Canada, organized a protest against vaccine restrictions implemented by Canadian provinces.

"Okay, it's our turn! The Canadians did a great job, but we're going to boost the Freedom Convoy and include a MAGA Convoy too!" the organizers' email requesting funding from supporters said.

Protestors bring kids, toilets and a hot tub to Ottawa

Thousands of protestors occupied Ottawa for a third weekend, setting up a hot tub, toilets and bringing children to demonstrations.

Ottawa Police estimate 4,000 demonstrators gathered downtown on Saturday alone.

"Safety concerns - arising from aggressive, illegal behaviour by many demonstrators - limited police enforcement capabilities," Ottawa Police wrote.

Protestors set up and sat inside a hot tub in the middle of Downtown Ottawa on Saturday.

Children were present at weekend demonstrations, despite ongoing calls to take them home.

Ottawa Police estimated children were "living" in about 100 trucks camped across the city, as of last Tuesday.

Police are working with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO) to address the concern. CASO says its received "ongoing" reports regarding child welfare concerns.

"CASO continues to play its role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and youth in the community," the organization wrote in a statement.

"The Society has a duty to investigate whenever there are allegations of abuse or neglect that suggest a child or youth may be in need of protection."

Government leaders and police have urged protestors to take children home, citing several risks including an unsafe environment and frigid temperatures.

"Please take your kids home," Ontario Premier Doug Ford again said during a press conference Monday morning.

Protestors also lined up portable toilets outside of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office, posting names of various officials on each. The toilets are standing where Trudeau's motorcade typically parks, according to CBC.

Trudeau to invoke emergency powers to end protests

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will invoke rarely used measures to tackle protests that have shut some border crossings and paralyzed downtown Ottawa, domestic media reports said Monday.

According to CBC and CTV, Trudeau had told legislators from his ruling Liberal Party that he would use the 1988 Emergencies Act, which allows the federal government to override the provinces and authorize special temporary measures to ensure security during national emergencies.

The Emergencies Act grants the Cabinet the ability to "take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times" to cope with an "urgent and critical situation." The act also allows the military to be deployed, however, Trudeau hasn't said whether he plans to do so.

Convoy again blocks traffic in Downtown Ottawa

Downtown Ottawa streets were again blocked by protesters Monday morning, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly prepares to invoke the Emergencies Act to end the ongoing protests.

Ottawa protests
Truckers line Kent & Queen Streets in Ottawa amid ongoing protests. City of Ottawa

Demonstrations forced several roads to close before 8 a.m. Monday, as truckers lined streets in the downtown core. Protesters popped up tents along Rideau and Sussex after blocking the road.

Tents in Ottawa
Protesters block Rideau & Sussex and put up a tent Monday morning. City of Ottawa

The convoy has occupied Ottawa for three weekends in a row, disrupting residents and business operations.

"Traffic and service impacts will continue on Monday," the City of Ottawa wrote. "The downtown core will continue to experience most of the traffic impacts. Residents are advised to avoid non-essential travel in the area."

The demonstrations continued Monday despite warnings of increasingly severe consequences, including license revocation, steep fines and imprisonment.

The City of Ottawa was set to hold a special meeting Monday to discuss the ongoing situation. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson rescheduled to Tuesday due to "significant developments of the last 24 hours."

Trudeau led another Incident Response Group meeting Sunday. Trudeau said discussions involved "further actions" to end the occupations.

"We'll keep working urgently on this – to protect jobs, public safety, our neighbourhoods, and our economy," Trudeau tweeted.

Ambassador Bridge sees all lanes reopen after weeklong blockade

The Ambassador Bridge reopened late Sunday after a seven-day protest congested Michigan and Canada's vital trade route.

Authorities moved in to clear the demonstration about 12 hours after a state of emergency was declared Saturday in Ontario. The Windsor Police Service said several protesters were arrested, and "multiple vehicles" were seized over the weekend.

"The Ambassador Bridge is open," Windsor Police said in a tweet. Windsor Police also gave directions for to access the bridge.

"To access the bridge, you must enter onto Huron Church Rd south of E.C. Row Expressway. There is no eastbound or westbound access onto Huron Church Rd from E.C. Row Expressway to Wyandotte. The Wyandotte entrance to the bridge is closed at this time," the tweet read.

Ontario to drop vaccine proof amid ongoing protests

Ontario is set to end its COVID-19 vaccine passport system on March 1, as efforts increase to peacefully end protests across the region.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Monday morning, saying the relaxed rules are happening now because "it's safe to do so," not due to recent protests.

"Today's announcement is not happening because of what's happening in Ottawa or Windsor, but despite it," Ford said.

Ford warned remaining protestors of more severe consequences and again implored those with children to go home.

"This has to come to an end," he said.

"And if it doesn't come to an end, you're going to have serious consequences. You will lose your license for life, you're going to lose your car indefinitely. And we're going to throw every tool we have at you to make sure we bring stability back."

Ford said a "number" of personal vehicles were seized over the weekend.

The Ontario Premier declared a state of emergency in the province Friday. He is set to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other premiers Monday morning.

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