A protester was arrested Saturday morning as law enforcement stepped up efforts to clear out protesters.
“One protester launched a gas canister and was arrested,” Ottawa police said in a tweet. Police said they did not use gas on protesters.
Police response will be with public and officer safety in mind, police said.
Earlier Saturday morning, police warned protesters to leave.
“We were slow and methodical, yet you were assaultive and aggressive with officers and the horses. Based on your behaviour, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety,” police said.
Demonstrators have been blockading Ottawa streets since January 29; despite threats of legal consequences, many have shown no signs of backing down. In response, city, provincial and federal law enforcement officers began an unprecedented operation Friday morning to remove protesters along with their vehicles.
More than 100 checkpoints remain to keep more protesters from entering the city.
Legislators resumed emergency debate on the Emergencies Act.
The situation had prompted the Canadian House of Commons to cancel its meeting Friday, House Speaker Anthony Rota said in a statement. The meeting was slated to discuss the Canadian government’s invoking the Emergencies Act on Monday due to the protests, and officials say they hope Parliament will resume Saturday.
The points of contention have also become more delicate in recent days as some protesters placed young children between them and police. CNN has observed those children on the protest site in the last several days.
DC prepares for potential similar protests
And Trudeau has pointed out that some people in the US as well as elsewhere are funneling funding to the protesters.
“We see that roughly half of the funding that is flowing to the barricaders here is coming from the United States. The goal of all measures, including financial measures in the Emergencies Act, is to deal with the current threat only, and to get the situation fully under control.”
Meanwhile, officials in US are concerned that similar unrest may arise in Washington, DC, as President Joe Biden prepares for the State of the Union address on March 1.
The US Capitol Police has begun coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in anticipation of a potential trucker convoy descending on Capitol Hill. The preparation efforts include Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service and the DC National Guard.
Organizers face charges
Several people arrested earlier this week have been charged in the protests, which in recent weeks have evolved from opposition to a trucker vaccine mandate to encompassing a disdain for all Covid-19 safety measures.
Patrick James King, 44, of Red Deer, Alberta, was arrested Friday, according to Ottawa Police.
King is charged by the Criminal Investigations Section with mischief, counseling to commit the offense of mischief, counseling to commit the offense of disobeying court order, and counseling to commit the offense of obstructing police.
King will appear in court on Saturday.
He is the third organizer to be arrested by law enforcement in Ottawa.
On Friday, Ottawa police confirmed the arrests of organizers Tamara Lich, 49, and Christopher John Barber, 46.
Lich was charged with counseling to commit the offense of mischief and Barber has been charged with counseling to commit the offense of mischief, counseling to commit the offense of disobeying a court order, and counseling to commit the offense of obstructing police.
Barber had a contested bail hearing Friday, attorney Diane Magas said in an email to CNN. He was released on the condition that he leave Ottawa and a bond, she added. Lich is scheduled to appear in court Saturday morning for her arraignment.
CNN’s Paula Newton, Paradise Afshar, Travis Caldwell, Raja Razek, Chris Boyette, Amir Vera, Chuck Johnston and Jenn Selva contributed to this report.