Ottawa to have ‘special parking restrictions’ during anniversary of ‘Freedom Convoy’ |

Ottawa will employ special parking restrictions beginning Friday that will run through the weekend in anticipation of the one-year anniversary of the “Freedom Convoy.”

“Residents and visitors are advised to follow posted signage and to park their vehicles accordingly,” the city said in a statement released Thursday.

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The city will have additional bylaw officers deployed to ensure parking regulations are followed and warns that all vehicles found violating the regulations will be ticketed and towed.

The city also said that tickets will be issued for violations of other bylaws, including unnecessary noise, installation of structures on city property, public urination and defecation, open-air fires, littering and discharging fireworks.

There will be no traffic closures as a result of the expected gathering this weekend, but temporary closures may be issued to manage traffic if necessary.

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“Drivers should anticipate delays in the downtown core,” the city said.

Click to play video: '‘We never wanted to gridlock the city’: ‘Freedom Convoy’ leader Tamara Lich tells commission'

‘We never wanted to gridlock the city’: ‘Freedom Convoy’ leader Tamara Lich tells commission

Ottawa police Chief Eric Stubbs had said earlier in the week that resources, tow trucks and staffing plans are in place for the weekend.

Ottawa police said they are ready for the potential of another demonstration similar to the one that began Jan. 28, 2022, in downtown Ottawa against COVID-19 restrictions. The demonstration saw thousands of protesters with large vehicles parked en mass in Ottawa’s downtown, honking loud horns day and night.

The federal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 in response to border blockades and demonstrations across the country. The Act let the federal government extend special powers to police and financial institutions, including freezing bank accounts associated with the participants and organizers, until it was revoked a week later.

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“Residents and businesses will see an increased police presence in the downtown core and its surrounding areas. Although there is the potential for some level of protest, we are prepared,” Stubbs said in a statement.

“For this weekend and all through February, we have a scalable operational plan with external agencies supporting us. We will have resources, logistics, traffic, towing and staffing plans in place to address any type of scenario and will not allow the conditions to occur that resulted in the February 2022 convoy.”

An Ottawa municipal committee voted Thursday to reopen Wellington Street no earlier than March 1, which is in front of Parliament Hill and has been closed since the demonstrations. City council will vote on the decision in early February.

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