In response to a number of social media posts about a prospective demonstration involving “a large number of automobiles,” police are blocking Queen’s Park Circle “effective immediately.”
The precaution comes after one of the organizers of Ottawa’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ posted a video message to Tik Tok on Tuesday night, claiming that some members would be traveling to Toronto to continue their protest.
There has been no indication that truckers involved in the Ottawa protest will leave the country’s capital, and several of them have previously stated that they intend to remain in the area around Parliament for an extended amount of time, despite politicians’ requests that they leave.
“I don’t think Toronto has quite had enough entertainment for this and Ottawa is getting a little sticky on their law enforcement so yeah tomorrow we will pull up stakes and we will head to Toronto,” Chris Barber said in the video. “Toronto get ready, it is going to be epic, we have all these trucks heading in your direction.”
Hundreds of large vehicles have been illegally parked on downtown Ottawa streets for nearly two weeks now as part of a demonstration against vaccine mandates and other public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Over the weekend there were a number of solidarity protests held in several Canadians cities, including Toronto.
But in advance of that protest Toronto police closed several major arteries in an effort to ensure that the situation in Ottawa, which has evolved into an occupation, didn’t play out here.
“As mayor I of course cannot direct police enforcement, no elected official can or should. But I have made it clear to Chief Ramer that we must work together to do everything we can to avoid the kind of situation currently faced by Ottawa residents and businesses to keep Toronto residents safe and to try to ensure that any protests are respectful and peaceful,” Mayor John Tory said prior to the weekened protest.
At this point no details have been formally released about any potential protests in Toronto this week.
In a message posted to Twitter on Wednesday police said that additional closures can be expected again over the coming days, along with an increased uniformed presence downtown.
They are encouraging individuals to avoid the area “unless absolutely necessary.”
“Keeping emergency routes clear and protecting key infrastructure is a priority for officers,” the message states.
Source_ The Canadian Press