Ottawa — Friday The first face-to-face Canada Day celebration in three years will include the presence of huge police and street closures throughout downtown Ottawa to prevent rebel "freedom" protesters from disrupting the festival.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the free concerts and other activities normally held on holidays celebrating the founding of the country were last held in 2019.
"This is the time for Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino to celebrate who we are and get out of the two-year pandemic on Wednesday," urging people to attend the festival. rice field.
"Among the minorities, efforts may be needed to cause or exacerbate confusion," he said.
Several groups are planning marches and dance parties to protest the mandatory coronavirus vaccination, globalization, and the government's overkill in Canada.
Some of the same organizers were behind a truck convoy that blocked downtown Ottawa for three weeks around Congress this winter, causing a crisis and arresting dozens of people. Brought. Separate protests at the same time groaned international travel and trade at border crossings.
Earlier this week, Ottawa's interim police chief Steve Bell said he expected hundreds of thousands of people to attend the city's celebrations, but of those who plan to attend the protests. I didn't know the number.
Former soldier and one of the organizers, James Topp, states that the protests are peaceful.
Most of downtown center is closed to prevent vehicles from blocking the streets, and authorities recommend people to use free public transport instead of driving. increase. The celebration begins in the morning and ends with concerts and fireworks at night.
Several police have been brought in for assistance, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The city recently fined C $ 1,000 ($ 850) for certain violations, including "abnormal noise" such as horn barks and highway blockages.
(reported by Steve Scherer; edited by Josie Kao)