Ottawa is now officially under a ‘state of emergency’ due to the largely peaceful protest occurring in the city, on the request of the city’s mayor, Jim Watson. While left-wing politicians have inaccurately described the protest as being violent, media outlets such as Reuters and the New York Times acknowledged it was “mostly peaceful.” Journalists from Toronto 99 were on scene, and were able to corroborate, with video evidence, the protest was peaceful, albeit noisy.
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Mayor Jim Watson made waves in media outlets around the world after he announced he was declaring a “state of emergency” in the capital city of Canada, as per an announcement made around 4 P.M.
According to a statement published to the City of Ottawa’s website:
Mayor Jim Watson today declared a state of emergency for the City of Ottawa due to the ongoing demonstration.
Declaring a state of emergency reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government.
The reports of “serious danger” and an apparent “threat to the safety and security” of residents made by the mayor have been disputed. Various independent journalists, including two reporters from Toronto 99, were on scene in Ottawa and did not observe any unlawful activity.
The protest was described as “mostly peaceful” by left-leaning news organizations such as Reuters and the New York Times. On Saturday, Reuters published an article stating the protests were “mostly peaceful.” The first paragraph reads:
Thousands held a loud but peaceful protest in Canada’s capital Ottawa on Saturday against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, on the streets and snow-covered lawn in front of Parliament.
On Monday, the New York Times published an article describing the majority of protesters as “peaceful.” The article states: “while the protests were, at times, unruly, a majority of the protesters were peaceful.” Toronto 99 journalists were on scene for the weekend, and did not observe any illegal activity or harassment.
However, it appears that the Ottawa Police have a different opinion, and are now asking protesters to leave. According to a press statement, the police are now saying, “demonstrators exhibited extremely disruptive and unlawful behaviour, which presented risks to public safety and unacceptable distress for Ottawa residents.” It is unclear what Ottawa Police are referring to, considering the fact independent media continues to document the protest, and no reports of violence or illegal activity have been noted. Peaceful protest is protected by the charter, and police have previously given leeway to left-leaning groups when they were engaged in civil disobedience.
Earlier, the chief of Ottawa Police suggested the military may be called in on peaceful protesters. Many perceive the mayor’s recent announcement as an act of “war.” The convoy protesters received the message, and are preparing to “hold the line.”
The ongoing protest was described by Mayor Jim Watson as the “most serious emergency the city has ever faced,” a comment that drew immense criticism online. It is notable that Ottawa suffered a “terrorist attack” in 2014 and a large, fatal gas explosion earlier in 2022. Neither of these incidents were mentioned by Ottawa’s Mayor or members of city council as the ‘state of emergency’ announcement was made.
On 22 October 2014, a lone gunman murdered Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a ceremonial guard at the War Memorial, and then moved into Parliament, where he was shot and killed inside. The attack raised serious concerns over parliamentary security.
UPDATE: A few typos were brought to our attention on Feb. 14 and were immediately corrected. Learn more about our editorial standards.
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