‘Zero tolerance’: Ottawa Bylaw takes down table set up near Parliament ahead of Canada Day protests

Ottawa Bylaw says it ordered a small group of people to remove a table they had set up on Wellington Street in front of Parliament in advance of expected protests on Canada Day.

In a tweet, Ottawa Bylaw said the tables were ordered removed on Monday.

“There is zero tolerance for the placement of tables or any materials (including tents) that are encumbering sidewalks or roads during the upcoming protests,” the tweet said.

However, bylaw went on to say no charges were laid because the people with the table complied with the request to remove it.

A photo shared by Ottawa Bylaw shows a white table set up next to a sign that appears to reference ‘Freedom Convoy’ leader Pat King and the words “the line,” though part of the sign was obscured by a lamppost. The phrase “hold the line” was a rallying cry for the occupiers last winter as they were being pushed out of the downtown core by police.

“While we respect the fundamental right to protest, we ask in return that protesters respect residents of the City of Ottawa by following all municipal regulations,” Ottawa Bylaw said.

Groups have announced plans to protest in Ottawa against remaining COVID-19 public health protections and against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.

This comes as Ottawa police prepare for what they have called an “unprecedented” Canada Day.

With the main stage at LeBreton Flats this year because of a large pit on Parliament Hill due to construction, Ottawa police say their downtown footprint on Canada Day will span roughly three kilometers from the Flats to the ByWard Market. Hundreds of RCMP officers are being brought in to bolster the local police force. A vehicle control zone is also being established.

Speaking on CTV News at Noon, interim Ottawa police chief Steve Bell said officers will be ready to respond to any attempts to occupy the city again and people should feel safe to celebrate Canada Day.

“The trauma our community suffered in February is front of center through all of our planning,” he said. “Canada Day is about celebrating our country… We want to encourage people to come down and we want to let them know that you can come down to a large area that will have a festive environment to it.”

Bell said there will be protests, but as long as they’re lawful, downtown Ottawa will be “an amazing place to be on Canada Day.”

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