Ottawa Police Services (OPS) have enlisted child protective services for advice on how to deal with the kids present in the trucker convoy.
According to estimates, over 100 truckers brought their children along for the demonstrations. Children’s Aid Society was called in to advise officers on how to handle the situation as the city prepares a crackdown on the peaceful protestors.
“Almost 25 per cent of the 418 trucks have children living in them — children who could be at risk during a police operation,” said OPS Deputy Chief Steven Bell.
Police have not ruled out removing the children from their parents and guardians but claim that they’re not at that stage yet.
“We’re not at the stage of looking to do any sort of enforcement activity around that,” Bell told reporters.
“We just think it’s an important factor that complicates and makes this an even more challenging operation.”
On Tuesday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson met with cabinet ministers to discuss shipping in an additional 1,800 law enforcement personnel to help break up the freedom convoy.
According to Bell “all options remain on the table” when it comes to routing the protestors.
“That’s why we’ve made the large ask we have, so that we can have the presence we need to successfully, expeditiously and quickly end this occupation,” said Bell.
Legal steps have been taken to ban anyone from providing material assistance to the convoy, and police have moved to seize fuel and dismantle structures erected in the downtown core.
Support for the convoy and their demand to end all COVID-19 restrictions and mandates has grown and now includes long-time Liberal MP Joel Lightbound.
“I have enough respect for my fellow Canadians not to engage in these easy, absurd labels,” Lightbound said, referring to Trudeau’s claims that the convoy were violent and racist.
“I can’t help but notice with regret that both the tone and policies of my government changed drastically on the eve and during the last election campaign.”
A recent poll found that 44% of vaccinated Canadians sympathized with the trucker convoy’s frustrations.
The Freedom Convoy in Ottawa entered its 18th day on Wednesday.