Convoy of Truckers: Ottawa Police Investigate Alleged Information Leaks
Police officers try to contain the crowd during last winter's trucking convoy protests in Ottawa (file).
The Acting Ottawa Police Chief confirmed Thursday that his force is investigating allegations that officers leaked information to organizers of the convoy protest. truckers from last winter.
Keith Wilson, a lawyer for some of the organizers, had alleged on Wednesday that the convoy regularly received leaks from sympathetic officers about police operational plans.
He made these allegations during his testimony at a public hearing of the State of Emergency Commission, which is responsible for reviewing the use of the Emergency Measures Act by the federal government during the demonstrations in Ottawa.
Acting Chief Steve Bell told a committee of MPs and Senators that Keith Wilson's testimony contained clear new information and that the Ottawa Police Service opened an internal investigation Wednesday night.
Steve Bell, Acting Chief of the Ottawa Police Service (archives).
Mr. Bell said the police department plans to contact Mr. Wilson for more information so they can seek to follow up on this.
During the commission hearing on Wednesday, Wilson described a steady stream of information and leaks from Ottawa Police Service officers, the Ottawa Provincial Police Ontario, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and security agencies.
At all times, there was a high degree of situational awareness regarding the police operational plans, he claimed.
The Ontario Provincial Police responded to a request for comment saying they can't comment, but are taking all allegations seriously. The RCMP did not respond to a similar request.
When asked if the police department was ever aware of such leaks, Mr. Bell said internal investigations and disciplinary actions related to the officers' conduct had already taken place, but most of them related to donations made to support the convoy.
From the first days of the convoy, it was something that concerned us, he said. Whenever we received information to open an investigation, we did so.
When asked what the rank of the officers who had done Under investigation or disciplinary action, Mr. Bell said he could not comment on the investigations and their progress.