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Canadian News Feb 16, 2022 10:56 AM EST

Ottawa Police to freedom protestors: 'Leave the area now' or face arrest

"You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you will face charges," the notice says.

Ottawa Police to freedom protestors: 'Leave the area now' or face arrest
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Ottawa Police Service are reportedly handing out notices on the grounds of the Freedom Convoy in the city's downtown core.

The notices are being served as the protest nears its fourth weekend in the nation's capital.

Police also released the statement on social media.

It states: "You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offence and you may be arrested. You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you will face charges. If you are arrested you may be released on bail depending on factors contained in Part XVI of the Criminal Code.

"The people of Ottawa are being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property and you are causing businesses to close. That is mischief under the Criminal Code."

The notice says that those charged or convicted due to activity related to the protests may no longer be able to cross the US border. It also warns that anyone who is coming to Ottawa to protests is now breaking the law.

According to Buzzfeed reporter Paul McLeod, the crowd in Ottawa have responded by chanting "hold the line."

"The Federal Emergencies Act allows for the regulation or prohibition of travel to, from or within any specified area. This means that anyone coming to Ottawa for the purpose of joining the ongoing demonstration is breaking the law. The act also provides police with a number of measures including the ability to seize vehicles that are part of this demonstration.

"Ontario law (EMCPA) now prohibits interference with any critical infrastructure including 400-series highways, railways, airports and international border crossings. It prohibits you from preventing someone from travelling to or from walkways, bridges and highways (other than 400 series highways) or preventing anyone from using them. It also prohibits someone from seriously interfering with the safety, health or well-being of members of the public," it says.

"Anyone who commits these illegal actions could face fines or be required to appear in court. Commercial vehicle drivers' licences and private drivers' licences can be suspended or revoked."

The notice comes one day after Police Chief Peter Sloly resigned from his position.

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