Former Ottawa police chief thought protest would end after 1st weekend, councillor testifies


Ottawa’s former police chief stated in late January that convoy protesters about to descend on the capital would be passed by the end of the primary weekend, in accordance with the previous chair of the oversight board for Ottawa police.

Coun. Diane Deans, who was ousted as chair of the board throughout the peak of the protest and ensuing occupation of Ottawa’s downtown, testified on Wednesday on the Public Order Emergency Commission, which is analyzing the federal authorities’s use of the Emergencies Act.

She stated former chief Peter Sloly spoke to the board throughout a briefing on Jan. 26, two days earlier than protesters started arriving.

“He stated that he would be stunned in the event that they had been nonetheless right here on Monday,” Deans informed the inquiry.

She stated she’d first change into conscious of the approaching menace two days earlier, on Jan. 24, when Sloly briefed her on the newest intelligence.

Deans had doubts

Deans stated regardless of Sloly’s assurances, she had her personal considerations in regards to the dimension of the convoy, and their appreciable monetary backing.

“The extra I used to be watching this the extra involved I used to be getting,” Deans stated. “I feel there was a recognition that this was distinctive amongst demonstrations.”

Outgoing Ottawa metropolis councillor Diane Deans seems as a witness on the Public Order Emergency Commission in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Deans stated Ottawa police assured the board they had been in communication with some protest leaders, however that these leaders represented solely about 70 per cent of the general crowd.

The query of whether or not Ottawa police had the assets to cope with the protest wasn’t mentioned throughout that Jan. 26 assembly, Deans stated.

Operation particulars not mentioned

That similar day, a provincewide police bulletin went out stating “there isn’t a categorical departure date for when events disperse or when the motion will end,” however Deans stated the board was by no means made conscious of that data.

“Maybe it was hopefulness, I do not know, however I had the impression that [Ottawa police] believed they had been going to depart,” she testified. “At this level that wasn’t being mentioned.”

Nor had been particular operation particulars mentioned at that first board assembly, Deans testified. 

“They didn’t present the board with an in depth operational plan.”

She stated it started to daybreak on her by Tuesday that lots of the protesters weren’t planning to go anyplace. It took till the Family Day lengthy weekend, about three weeks later, for the core to basically be cleared.

Deans additionally testified she and her workplace workers acquired direct threats throughout the convoy protest, together with loss of life threats.

“They had been ugly,” she testified. Deans stated she forwarded the worst ones to Ottawa police, who provided her a safety element, however she declined as a result of she did not need to take up police assets at such a crucial time.

She stated one in all her assistants was so upset by the messages that Deans gave the younger girl break day work.

Last week, Ottawa metropolis councillors Catherine McKenney and Mathieu Fleury testified they’d acquired related threats. Fleury stated offended protesters in a pickup truck confirmed up at his residence, prompting him to ship his spouse and their younger youngster elsewhere for security.


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