Ottawa/IBNS: Ottawa Police officials Monday said they are prepared for Canada Day observation with plans to keep anti-government protests from turning into another occupation.
Due to ongoing construction on Parliament Hill, the traditional nationally broadcast shows are returning for the first time since 2019 in front of the Canadian War Museum.
With groups related to the Freedom Convoy continuing to plan demonstrations, Ottawa Police are expecting more protests and larger crowds than usual during Canada Day celebrations.
Interim Police Chief Steve Bell reportedly said Monday that overall, they are expecting hundreds of thousands of people downtown.
With provincial police and the RCMP having offered help to shut down occupation attempts, Bell said officers are working against the threat of protests turning into occupations.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said Monday he wants this to be a safe, festive event for children and families.
The traditional Canada Day road closures would be followed on Friday, July 1, and early Saturday, though there are more closures near LeBreton Flats because of a change in show location.
Another vehicle exclusion zone is being established by Ottawa police with no street parking at all and no protest vehicles allowed in from 8 a.m. this Wednesday until at least 6 a.m. on Monday, July 4.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)