The latest developments on ongoing protests against COVID-19 restrictions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, in Ottawa and various locations across Canada, on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. All times eastern:
Ottawa police say a location occupied by an "unlawful assembly" has been cleared and is being monitored to prevent people from going back.
The force issued a tweet saying 20 vehicles were towed and that a police presence will remain to prevent anyone from returning to the Coventry Road site.
Earlier in the day, police said demonstrators participating in a protest against COVID-19 public health measures on Coventry Road were given a deadline of 4:30 p.m. to clear the site.
Ottawa police are reassuring businesses in parts of the city's downtown core that they should feel safe to reopen if they had closed during a weeks-long protest against COVID-19 public health measures.
The force issued a tweet saying Rideau Street is now open at Sussex Drive but closed westbound at Dalhousie Street.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie Avenue southbound, Sussex Drive northbound and Colonel By Drive are open to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
Police thanked businesses and residents for their patience during their efforts to put an end to the protest, while noting that supporting local businesses is considered lawful if residents are entering the secure area.
In an earlier tweet, police said they distributed notices under the Trespass to Property Act to protesters at their base camp on Coventry Road, declaring that people are prohibited from having any fires and having and/or driving any motor vehicle on the premises unless expressly permitted.
Police say demonstrators were given until 4:30 p.m. today to clear the site and a police operation was underway to "ensure the area is vacated."
Interim Ottawa police Chief Steve Bell says 191 people have been arrested, 107 people have been charged and 389 charges have been laid in connection with anti-government blockades in the city.
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme says law enforcement, federal partners and financial institutions have frozen 206 financial accounts, and proactively froze a payment processor's account valued at $3.8 million.
Bell says police are not finished securing the streets of downtown Ottawa, and will eventually demobilize once they have determined there is no threat of further demonstrations coming to the city.
Ottawa police say 79 vehicles have been towed from downtown Ottawa.
The force issued an afternoon tweet saying officers have laid 389 criminal charges in connection with operations to disperse anti-government protesters in the city’s downtown core.
Earlier in the day, police said 103 people are facing criminal charges.
They say 191 people have been arrested since law enforcement operations began in the city last week.
Interim Chief Steve Bell is speaking to reporters this afternoon.
Ottawa police say 103 people are facing criminal charges after they were arrested during police operations to disperse anti-government protesters in the city’s downtown core.
The force issued a tweet saying those arrested primarily face charges of mischief and obstruction.
Of those who have been charged, 89 have been released with conditions that include a boundary, requiring them to stay out of certain designated areas, while the rest were released without condition.
Police say 191 people have been arrested since law enforcement operations began in the city last week.
Ontario's police watchdog says it's investigating two incidents stemming from Saturday's massive enforcement operation to clear anti-government protesters from downtown Ottawa.
The Special Investigations Unit says preliminary information suggests a Toronto Police officer on horseback allegedly had an encounter with a 49-year-old woman resulting in an undisclosed, serious injury.
They say they're also looking into the use of anti-riot weapons, which they say were deployed by members of the Vancouver Police Department on Saturday evening.
The SIU says no serious injuries were reported during that interaction.
It's asking anyone who may have been struck by a projectile to contact the unit.
The alleged incidents come amid an enforcement blitz that Ottawa Police say has resulted in 191 arrests since it began on Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2022.
The Canadian Press