OTTAWA, Ont. — Ottawa’s police chief has resigned on day 19 of a trucker protest in the core of Canada’s capital city.
Since the start of the crisis, Peter Sloly and his department have come under fire from city councilors and Ottawa residents for failing to respond decisively to demonstrations that have attracted global attention.
“Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has resigned,” Ottawa city councillor Riley Brockington tweeted before adding that an official statement will come out later Tuesday.
Police have been unable — and have mostly appeared unwilling — to dislodge a trucker convoy that has clogged downtown Ottawa with big rigs and transformed the foot of Parliament Hill into an unwanted street party.
The demonstrations have tormented local residents, who have started to push back with counter protests. Many have complained about their evaporating faith in Ottawa’s police force and in Canada’s public institutions in general.
Sloly is stepping down a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act, a tool that gives authorities extraordinary tools to deal with protests and to try and cut off their funding sources.
Protest organizers, some of whom have been linked to far-right extremism, have called for Trudeau’s resignation. So far, since the protests arrived in Ottawa, Sloly and recently ousted Conservative leader Erin O’Toole have lost their jobs.
The movement has inspired copycat protests across Canada, where demonstrators have blocked border crossings, and around the world.