Ottawa mayor declares state of emergency over protests

By CityNews Ottawa

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has declared a state of emergency.

He says it will give the city more flexibility to deal with ongoing protests that have overwhelmed local resources.

In a brief statement, the city says the decision to declare a state of emergency “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents” posed by convoy protesters who have been in Ottawa for more than a week. 

The release also says the move “highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government.”

“It also provides greater flexibility within the municipal administration to enable the City of Ottawa to manage business continuity for essential services for its residents and enables a more flexible procurement process, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders.”

Earlier on Sunday, February 6, Ontario's solicitor general reiterated the province’s commitment to assisting the nation’s capital in maintaining law and order during the protests.

Sylvia Jones said more than 1,500 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers have been on the ground in Ottawa, as well as RCMP officers and officers from municipal police services across Ontario.

A swell of 250 RCMP officers bolstered police presence in Ottawa on Sunday.

Meanwhile Ottawa police said anyone trying to bring “material supports” like fuel to the protesters could be arrested.

Police say they and bylaw offices have issued tickets for various offences such as excessive noise, use of fireworks, stunt driving, driving a vehicle on a sidewalk and seat belt violations.

More than 450 tickets were issued between the morning of Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6 at 11 a.m.

Police say they have responded to more than 650 calls in relation to the demonstrations since they began last weekend.

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