The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms sent a cease and desist demand letter to Steve Bell, Interim Police Chief Ottawa Police Service on February 17, 2022 after hearing his warning that Canadians should not come to Ottawa to protest.
At a press conference earlier today, Interim Chief Bell said, "The secured area includes almost 100 checkpoints that will have police presence to ensure that those seeking entry to that secure area for a unlawful reason, such as joining a protest, cannot enter the downtown core." The Charter ensures that Canadians are free to peacefully assemble, to express their ideas, to gather to discuss them and communicate them widely to other people, including vigorous political dissent. These activities are basic forms of individual liberty. They are essential to the basic functioning of a democratic society like Canada.
In Canada, people are free to discuss matters of public policy, to protest and to criticize governments.
Keith Wilson, Q.C., external lead counsel for the Freedom Convoy 2022 states, “The Interim Police Chief’s improper attempts to scare Canadians from exercising their Charter rights is disturbing.” Mr. Wilson adds, “The police misconduct here is particularly egregious given the clear wording of the Emergency Proclamation confirming Canadians rights to attend in downtown to protest.”
“It is another dark day for Canada and the once-famed Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I am concerned for the future of our country. I am concerned for the citizens of Canada. The government overreach together with the escalated, unlawful and unnecessary police enforcement is something that should concern every Canadian,” says Justice Centre Staff Lawyer Eva Chipiuk.