Ottawa police chief resigns as Canadian border protesters retreat

Ottawa’s police chief resigned on Tuesday after criticism that he did not do enough to stop COVID-19 protests that have paralyzed Canada’s capital city and forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invoke emergency powers.

A trucker-led movement calling on the government to lift vaccine mandates has occupied parts of downtown Ottawa since late January and blocked U.S. border crossings, inspiring similar protests around the world even as Canada moves to lift some health restrictions.

Protesters retreated from the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit and two other crossings after threats of fines and jail time. But hundreds of trucks are still blocking downtown areas, raising questions over Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly’s handling of the crisis.

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SOURCE: Reuters – Reporting by Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Nia Williams in Calgary; Additional reporting by Nichola Saminather, Anna Mehler-Paperny, Ismail Shakil and Rod Nickel; Writing by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Stephen Coates and Lisa Shumaker