A plan to end the protest has already begun, the interim police chief said.
A new plan to clear the Freedom Convoy protesters out of Ottawa is in motion and the Ottawa Police Service says it could involve some lawful techniques that aren't commonly used.
Interim Police Chief of the Ottawa Police Service Steve Bell addressed City Council on February 16 about the "plan of action" that they will take alongside the Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP to end the ongoing protests in the city.
"This is the city we are sworn to protect. It's our responsibility and our job to safely remove this unlawful protest," Bell said.
Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency for Ontario on February 11, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time ever in response to the ongoing Freedom Convoy protests.
Bell shared that the Ottawa Police have a "methodical" and "well-resourced" plan with the goal to take back all of the occupied spaces, including the downtown core, clear out the "unlawful protest" and bring a sense of normalcy back to the city.
Police have instructed protesters to leave peacefully and immediately, and if the demonstrators choose not to, Bell said the police have "lawful methods" they can use to remove them. Under an emergency order signed by Ford, protesters could face a fine of up to $100,00 and potential jail time if they continue to block major travel passages.
"You will be hearing and seeing these actions in the coming days. It will take time to do this right. Every step will be considered and methodical. I ask for your patience and confidence," Bell said.
"Some of the techniques we are lawfully able and prepared to use are not what we are used to seeing in Ottawa. But we are prepared to use them where necessary to bring about the safest outcome and restore order."
The interim police chief said their plan won't be counted as complete until all of the streets are cleared, but the details of what the plan entails were not fully laid out.
"We know that this has left our residents feeling unsafe and abandoned and has tarnished our own reputation and that of our City. We deeply regret this," Bell said.
In a video reshared by a CTV National News reporter on February 16, members of the Freedom Convoy laid out key points of their "Road Map to Freedom," which include ending vaccine mandates and state of emergencies and giving people their jobs back.
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