Ottawa’s top cop: Police likely can’t end vaccine protests

Feb 2, 2022, 2:25 AM | Updated: 4:28 pm
Truck drivers hang a Canadian flag on the front grill of a truck parked in downtown Ottawa, Ontario...

Truck drivers hang a Canadian flag on the front grill of a truck parked in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, near Parliament Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Thousands of protesters railing against vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions descended on the capital, deliberately blocking traffic around Parliament Hill. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The police chief of Canada’s capital said Wednesday there is likely no policing solution to end a protest against vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions that has snarled traffic around Parliament.

He also said there is a “significant element” of the protest’s funding and organization coming from the United States.

Thousands of protesters descended on Ottawa over the weekend, deliberately blocking traffic around Parliament Hill. Police estimate the protest involved 8,000 to 15,000 people Saturday, but has since dwindled to several hundred. But trucks were still blocking traffic.

“We are now aware of a significant element from the United States that have been involved in the funding, the organizing and the demonstrating. They have converged on our city and there are plans for more to come,” Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said.

Organizers, including one who has espoused white supremacist views, raised millions for the cross-Canada “freedom truck convoy” against vaccine mandates. There was a public GoFundMe page.

The protesting truckers also have received praise from former U.S. President Donald Trump and tweets of support from Tesla billionaire Elon Musk.

Ottawa residents frustrated with the incessant blare of truck horns and traffic gridlock are questioning how police have handled the demonstration.

“There is likely no policing solution to this,” Sloly said.

Many Canadians have been angered by some of the crude behavior of the protesters. Some urinated or parked on the National War Memorial. One danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A number carried signs and flags with swastikas.

The most visible contingent of protesters were truck drivers who parked their big rigs on Parliament Hill. Some of them were protesting a rule that took effect Jan. 15 requiring truckers entering Canada to be fully immunized against the coronavirus. The Canadian Trucking Alliance has estimated that 85% of truckers in Canada are vaccinated.

Meanwhile, officials said there had been some movement toward resolving a protest blockade at the United States border in southern Alberta.

Chad Williamson, a lawyer representing truckers blocking access to the crossing at Coutts, Alberta, said they spoke with police and agreed to open some blocked lanes. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Curtis Peters said there were indications that the lane openings might only be temporary.

Demonstrators began parking their trucks and other vehicles near the crossing Saturday in solidarity with the protest in Ottawa.

The tie-up stranded travelers and cross-border truckers for days. Police tried to peacefully break up the demonstration Tuesday, but demonstrators breached a nearby checkpoint.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arby's - LEHI, UT - OCTOBER 26: Exterior view of an Arby's restaurant on October 26, 2017 in Lehi, ...
Associated Press

Ex-Arby’s manager in Vancouver, Wash. sentenced after urinating in milkshake mix

A former manager at an Arby’s restaurant admitted to possessing child pornography and urinated into a milkshake mix
15 hours ago
A CSX freight train runs through a crossing in Homestead, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo...
Associated Press

Rail unions emphasize positives of their tentative deals

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The two biggest U.S. railroad unions were working Wednesday ahead of key ratification votes to dispel rumors about the contract deals that averted a potentially devastating nationwide strike . The unions have been fighting rumors on social media that they would impose the deals on workers if they vote to reject […]
15 hours ago
CORRECTS SPELLING TO ALISSA, NOT ALYSSA - Alissa Parker, mother of deceased Sandy Hook Elementary S...
Associated Press

Jurors must decide how much Newtown families suffering worth

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — After watching days of testimony that included the parents of slain children breaking down on the witness stand, a Connecticut jury soon will have the difficult task of coming up with a dollar amount that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for promoting the idea that the Sandy Hook school shooting […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Deceased suspect in shooting at Indiana Subaru plant named

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A coroner has released the name of a man who fatally shot himself after shooting and critically wounding a woman outside a Subaru plant in northwest Indiana. Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello said 57-year-old John Jones’s cause of death was a gunshot wound and the manner of death was suicide. Officers […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Bail for suspect in police station shooting set at $500,000

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge on Wednesday set bail at $500,000 for a man suspected of pointing guns at Chicago police officers after he climbed a fire escape and through an open fifth- floor door of a building where they were training. Donald Patrick’s appearance in bond court before Cook County Judge Maryam Ahmad came […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, right, talks to Las Vegas Review-Journal re...
Associated Press

Fight over dead reporter’s sources stalls before Vegas judge

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A fight to block government access to a slain investigative journalist’s sources and unpublished work stalled Wednesday, when a Las Vegas judge said she didn’t have jurisdiction to consider the question. However, a lawyer heading efforts by Nevada’s largest newspaper, 43 media organizations and The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Ottawa’s top cop: Police likely can’t end vaccine protests