Motorcycle protests: City of Ottawa was prepared, expert says

According to former Ottawa Police Service (OPS) chief and public safety consultant Charles Bordeleau, the City of Ottawa and law enforcement have learned from recent trucker protests that have turned into occupation in the federal capital and had prepared accordingly.

Charles Bordeleau poses for the camera.

Former Ottawa Police Service Chief Charles Bordeleau. (archives)

Photo: Marc-Andre Cossette/CBC

This time they were able to execute. There were the resources from the beginning and then they gave the message that what happened in February was not going to happen again this time around.believes the former head of OPSCharles Bordeleau.

The one who is also a public security consultant also notes that the police carried out their plan as they had announced that they would.

They said they were for making arrests and handing out tickets. Then towing, they did. They put words into action and they made an impact. […] They have maintained control of the protest since Fridayhe argues.

Police on motorcycles.

During the motorcycling demonstration in Ottawa, police were patrolling on motorcycles.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Over the weekend, municipal officers issued 761 parking tickets, towed 39 vehicles and issued 10 statements of offence, according to the most recent report sent by the OPS.

The Ottawa Police Service also made about 10 arrests.

Mr. Bordeleau is convinced that the demonstrations of last February allowed the OPS to adjust his plan this time.

They achieved their goals and did a very professional job. They maintained [la paix dans] the streets of our city and they minimized the impact in the community »

A quote from Charles Bordeleau, former head of the OPS and public safety consultant

Better communication, says former SPO chief

Mr. Bordeleau also put forward the communication plan for the OPS which, in his opinion, was better elaborated.

During the demonstrations, they used social media a lot to be able to communicate, to give updates. And we saw the chief [Steeve] Bell present in the community through the media to issue reportshe points out.

Their communication plan was much more robust this time around. »

A quote from Charles Bordeleau, former head of the OPS and public safety consultant

Lessons have been learned since last February, also believes the mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson.

The reaction of the Ottawa police and the RCMP was better than the situation we saw two months ago. […] I am very proud of the actions of our Police Service with the POP and the RCMP to control the situation in the city centerhe commented.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. (archives)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Antoine Trépanier

What reassure the population in the event of possible demonstrations, estimates Lucille Collard, provincial deputy for Ottawa-Vanier.

The peaceful outcome of this weekend will give people hope that we will be able to continue to live together, to demonstrate while respecting each other.she said.

A long-term plan

The mayor of Ottawa is adamant that this demonstration is certainly not the last to take place downtown and on Parliament Hill, hence the importance of continuing to refine strategies, he said.

We are going to do a post mortem over the next few weeks to determine if there are other things we need to do because the protests in Ottawa are not overhe concludes.

Protesters and flags of Canada.

Hundreds of opponents of the health measures still in effect demonstrated in Ottawa over the weekend.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Mr. Bordeleau also believes that the work of the OPS should continue for future events.

If this kind of event continues to recur […] the police and their partners need to rethink the strategy they will use in the long term to continue to prevent and then keep our city safe in protest situationshe said.

With information from Fiona Collienne and CBC

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