High security in Ottawa ahead of Joe Biden's visit
About 20 police vehicles drove through downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, where Canadian and American flags hang from streetlights.
The President American Joe Biden and his wife Jill have not yet arrived in Ottawa, but already an important security device was in place Wednesday in the streets and the sky of the federal capital in anticipation of the first American presidential visit in seven years.
The couple are expected in Ottawa on Thursday for Mr. Biden's first official visit to Canada since entering the White House in January 2021.
Twenty police vehicles were circulating on the streets of downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, where Canadian and American flags hung from lamp posts. Meanwhile, municipal employees were busy setting up barricades to prepare for the visit.
Ottawa has not hosted a US president since June 2016. Barack Obama was there to attend the North American Leaders' Summit towards the end of his second term.
His successor, Republican Donald Trump, did not go to Ottawa during his mandate, from 2017 to 2021. He had attended the 2018 G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Charlevoix.
The Ontario Provincial Police works with the RCMP, Canadian military, and U.S. Secret Services, among others, to ensure the security during the presidential visit to Ottawa.
President Biden's official visit will take place under heavy surveillance. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says security for President Biden and his wife will be provided by an integrated unit of various services.
RCMP says it works with the Canadian military, US Secret Service, Ontario Provincial Police and Parliamentary Protective Service, as well as municipal police in Ottawa and Gatineau across the Ottawa River.
Former Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau was superintendent during Barack Obama's first official trip in 2009. He points out that careful planning was always required on every presidential visit, but the fact for the Bidens to spend a night in Ottawa will require even more resources.
Mr. Bordeleau said in an interview that the Ottawa police had, in 2009, two months notice for the visit of President Obama. This planning must be done in a collegial manner and in collaboration with the multitude of partners, not only here in Canada, but also with the American secret services, explained Mr. Bordeleau.
It is a very human resource intensive event, due to the number of officers needed to deal with the protection of the surroundings, traffic management and buildings that the president can visit.
Barack Obama during a visit to Ottawa in 2009. He is seen here buying maple cookies in a bakery in the federal capital.
During Mr. Obama's visit, which had seen thousands of people invade the lawns in front of Parliament Hill, the American president had surprised more than one taking a detour with his motorcade to the ByWard Market to sample a beavertail, that sugar-coated fried pastry.
He had also returned to Washington with three maple leaf sugar cookies for his family, after an impromptu visit to a local bakery.
Police in ;Ottawa has warned residents of an increased police presence throughout the week as large parking lots are turned into staging areas for police officers.
The Canadian Armed Forces and National Defense have also confirmed that they will provide aviation security during Mr. Biden's visit.
The Canadian federal capital is preparing for the arrival of Joe Biden and his wife Jill.
Residents of the National Capital Region can see or hear NORAD CF-18 Hornet fighter jets and CH-146 Griffon helicopters over the region starting Wednesday and throughout the visit, National Defense warned in a recent statement. The department added that pilots of civilian aircraft should check with NAV Canada for flight restrictions in the area.
The City of Ottawa has also advised residents to expect major arterial closures downtown and around the airport, where the presidential motorcade will pass.