Ottawa’s embattled police chief has stepped down amid widespread complaints over his handling of the “Freedom Convoy” of truckers who have shut down the heart of Canada’s capital city for more than two weeks.
The resignation of police Chief Peter Sloly was revealed in a terse message on Twitter by Riley Brockington, a city councillor.
Chief Sloly, who has said he was not given the resources to deal with the COVID-19 restrictions protests, was expected to make an official announcement later Tuesday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked a rarely used emergency powers law to deal with the persistent protests in Ottawa and at major crossing points into the United States.
The truckers blocking key arteries in Ottawa have proven unexpectedly determined and resourceful, while city residents have fumed that the police and other authorities have not taken stronger measures to deal with the protesters.
The border protests have disrupted major trade flows between the two countries, with a particular impact on American car manufacturers.
Mr. Trudeau said he acted in part because the Ottawa police appeared overwhelmed by the protests and were making little progress in ending the blockade.
The emergency action allows the federal government to boost local police authorities and target the funding sources that have bankrolled the protests thus far.
The convoy protests, which have snowballed from a protest over driver vaccine mandates to a more general challenge to the center-left Trudeau government, have roiled Canadian politics and sparked fears of copycat protests in the U.S. and Europe.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.