Biker protest cost up to $3M to police, sustainable solution needed: board chair

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The chair of Ottawa's police services board says the weekend's "Rolling Thunder" protest in the capital cost an estimated $2.5 to $3 million to police.

Eli El-Chantiry says a sustainable solution to policing future convoy protests needs to be found and Ottawa police are expecting the demonstrations to continue.

Protesters arrived Friday afternoon as part of the "Rolling Thunder" rally, organized by Freedom Fighters Canada, a group dedicated to speaking out against COVID-19 mandates.

El-Chantiry says the police, including officers brought in from outside the capital, were prepared for every eventuality and had intelligence about the bikers and their plans.

But less was known about the intentions of other protesters in pickup trucks, including 18-wheel big rigs and camper vans not part of the core group.

The police board chair, who has been briefed by Ottawa's police chief, says the protest — which was relatively peaceful — could have gone another way if officers had not been so well-prepared.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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