City auditor criticizes Ottawa police over handling of ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests


Published February 8, 2023 at 8:30 pm

The City of Ottawa’s auditor general says police intelligence sharing with the city about last year’s “Freedom Convoy” was insufficient and affected the ability to plan for the protests.

In reports released Wednesday (Feb. 7), the auditor general also finds the Ottawa police did not properly engage with the city’s emergency management and traffic management offices.

Auditor general Nathalie Gougeon’s office released three reports evaluating how the city and other municipal bodies, like the Ottawa Police Services Board, responded to the protests that paralyzed the national capital’s downtown for weeks during the winter of 2022.

Gougeon is recommending the city and police force formalize communications and responsibilities between one another to better prepare for major events and protests in the future.

“Freedom Convoy” protests started in Ottawa at the end of January and ended the next month after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act.

Protesters had individual goals and grievances with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but they were largely united in rejecting the federal government’s COVID-19 health protections. 

— The Canadian Press

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