Ottawa Police Chief Resigns Amid Trucker Protests

(Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly announced his resignation Tuesday amid criticism that his department is not doing enough to quell the “Freedom Convoy.”

“It is with a heavy heart I am announcing I have stepped down as Chief of the Ottawa Police Service,” Sloly said in a statement.

“Since the onset of this demonstration, I have done everything possible to keep this city safe and put an end to this unprecedented and unforeseeable crisis. We have acquired new resources and enforcement tools, and stood up the new Integrated Command Centre. I am confident the Ottawa Police Service is now better positioned to end this occupation.”

Authorities set up a command center to allow the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police to assume control over the area, according to The Associated Press (AP).

“Like other residents in Ottawa, I have watched in disbelief as this carnival chaos has been allowed to continue,” chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board Diane Deans said in announcing Sloly’s leave, according to AP.

Steve Bell, the interim chief, said he is confident authorities “now have the resources and partners to put a safe end to this occupation,” the AP reported. (RELATED: Canada Puts Crowd Funding Platforms Under ‘Terrorist Funding’ Law Amid Efforts To Stop Trucker ‘Freedom Convoy’)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the never-bef0re-used Emergencies Act Monday, allowing him to take additional steps to quell the protests.  Trudeau said police would be given additional tools to strengthen their ability to impose fines or imprisonment on those who do not comply with orders. The government can also ensure that essential services are rendered, such as towing vehicles blocking roadways while financial institutions will be allowed to regulate and prohibit the use of property to fund or support illegal blockades.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will also be enlisted to enforce bylaws “where required,” Trudeau said Monday.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association publicly opposed Trudeau’s invocation, calling it a “threat” to the nation’s democracy and civil liberties. The organization argued the protests are not a justifiable reason to invoke the act.

Truckers have been protesting vaccine mandates and restrictions for days, shutting down the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario. The bridge was reopened Sunday following an agreement between truckers and Ottawa officials.