Ottawa interim police chief didn’t ask feds to invoke Emergencies Act in February

By Sarah Ritchie, The Canadian Press

Ottawa’s interim police chief says he did not ask the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act during the “Freedom Convoy” in February.

The Liberals have said law enforcement asked for additional powers that could only be granted by declaring a national emergency, which they did on Feb. 14.

Ottawa interim chief Steve Bell spoke to a parliamentary committee today, along with representatives from the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP and Gatineau police, about issues with jurisdiction in downtown Ottawa.

RELATED: Emergencies Act inquiry called by federal government

The committee on procedure and House affairs is examining whether federal security jurisdiction should expand to include Wellington and Sparks streets in addition to oversight of the parliamentary precinct.

Bell said if that happens, Ottawa police would remain in charge of enforcing the law on city streets. Expanding the parliamentary precinct would enable Parliamentary Protective Services to expand its “security posture.”

Ultimately, solving the issues with jurisdiction will require clarity, Bell said, to ensure all agencies know who is in charge.

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