The City of Ottawa refused a call from Parliament security during the convoy
A Parliamentary Protective Service officer during the truckers' protest (File).
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson's office reportedly did not respond to a call from the Parliamentary Protective Service at the height of the convoy of truckers, its acting director told a committee Thursday evening.
Larry Brookson, the service's acting director, told MPs and senators during a joint committee hearing that he tried to contact Mr. Watson and the Ottawa city manager during the meetings. protests that occupied downtown Ottawa for three weeks in February.
But he said he received responses from both of their offices that they did not ;were not available to speak.
Brookson said the mayor's office had not contacted the Protective Service, which is responsible for security on Parliament Hill, about a failed deal between the city and organizers. of the convoy to end the protest, negotiated at its height.
The City did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The images of these two men in a jacuzzi during the occupation of the city center have gone viral (archives).
Mr. Brookson told the committee that he supports the extension of the Parliamentary Precinct to include Wellington Street, a change that is currently under consideration, and added that things would have happened differently if the route had come under its jurisdiction.
Despite his concerns, he testified that the City and Ottawa police allowed protesters to drive and park on the street, which faces Parliament, but is not covered by parliamentary security. .
The streets would have been blocked had he been in charge, he said. No vehicles would have been allowed to enter Wellington Street.
While the police department provided updates on their operations which Mr. Brookson said were satisfactory, he indicated that because the security department is not a law enforcement agency the law and was not part of joint operations between police forces, he sometimes lacked data on the situation outside the Hill and was not informed of the daily position of the police.
He said he was disappointed not to have more of a say in decisions concerning Wellington Street.
I think part of my disappointment is that I thought I had more influence than I actually had with the police partners. I'll have to talk to them about it. I mean, it saddened me all along, he reported. Suggesting that people have to come to work and suffer this kind of torment, no matter where it comes from, just doesn't sit well with me.
An Ottawa Police Service car drives through the heart of the street occupied by truckers (archives).
M . Brookson advised that tabletop exercises are now being conducted with police partners and I am very pleased with the changes that seem to be happening at the Ottawa Police Service.
Sergeant-at-Arms Patrick McDonell, who is the House of Commons Security Officer, and his Senate counterpart Julie Lacroix also testified before the committee.
Parliamentary hearings are underway on a study of the federal government's declaration of emergency under the Emergencies Act.
Parliament security actors testified that they had not been given any new powers under the state of emergency, and Mr Brookson added that ;he did not believe such powers would be necessary for the Protective Service to manage an administrative area which includes Wellington Street.
Peter Sloly, who has resigned as Ottawa Police Chief in mid-February, had already testified before the committee that placing Wellington Street under the authority of the protective service would make sense, but could be costly, as the service is less equipped to deal with day-to-day policing issues on the street.