Ottawa’s chief of police resigned on Tuesday amid criticism of his handling of protests that have overwhelmed downtown Ottawa, Canada’s center of government, for nearly three weeks.
Multiple Canadian news outlets and an Ottawa city councilor reported Tuesday that Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly resigned his commission and plans to announce his resignation at a Tuesday meeting of the Ottawa Police Services Board. Sloly’s resignation comes a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to take extra measures to counter protesters.
Sloly has a reputation of berating his subordinates and has taken criticism for his handling of the “Freedom Convoy” protest that has persisted in downtown Ottawa since late January. Sloly has failed to put forward a cohesive plan for dealing with the protesters. Instead, Sloly seems to act with a touch of desperation and routinely alienates those he is tasked with working with. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported:
Sloly’s resignation comes as sources tell CBC News he’s been accused of bullying and volatile behaviour that has damaged relations with senior leadership and compromised the force’s ability to cope with the truck protest.
Multiple sources have told CBC News that Sloly allegedly belittled and berated senior Ottawa Police Service officers in front of their colleagues, and has failed to put forward a solid operations plan to end the crisis.
Sources say he allegedly has come into conflict with members of the OPP and RCMP tasked with assisting the city’s law enforcement efforts during the crisis.
On Monday, Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act and his cabinet announced that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other authorities would take the lead in cracking down on “illegal blockades” in the city.
The protests, which began with a coalition of truckers in a “Freedom Convoy” protesting against vaccine mandates, have clogged Ottawa and blocked a number of U.S.-Canadian border crossings for weeks. A number of Canadian provinces and territories have since rolled back COVID-19 regulations, but Trudeau has continued to push back while refusing to meet with representatives of the protesters.
The prime minister went to the Emergencies Act as a “last resort,” stiffening the police response to the protesters and anyone aiding the demonstrations, knowingly or unknowingly. Under the prime minister’s latest action, banks and other financial institutions may freeze the individual or corporate accounts of any person or business suspected of aiding the protesters. As The Daily Wire reported:
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister, later said that banks and other financial institutions in Canada have the authority to “temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations. This order covers both personal and corporate accounts.”
Crowd-funding platforms, which protesters have used to sustain their weeks-long demonstrations, would fall under the enforcement of “Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules,” Freeland said.
“These changes cover all forms of transactions,” she said. “The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowd-funding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the proceeds of the Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.”
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