While Freedom Convoy participants and supporters peacefully protested in the nation’s capital, Toronto police were quietly preparing for their own Ottawa-style protests. Seeing the wave of support that the truckers received in Ottawa, authorities in Toronto enacted plans to ensure that something similar could not occur in the nation’s largest city.
As detailed by Global News, "Figures obtained by Global News through a freedom of information request show Toronto police spent $7.6 million on its local operation to deter the so-called 'Freedom Convoy' from occupying the city, and a further $1.2 million sending officers and resources to assist Ottawa police in both February and April."
As extensively reported by Rebel News, freedom-loving protesters in Toronto were gathering on a consistent basis to take a stand against COVID-19-related government policies being imposed on them against their will. From children not being permitted to attend in-person school to vaccine mandates, many Torontonians were motivated to voice their displeasure with government overreach during the pandemic.
One protester explained while speaking to Rebel News, "We gotta hold the line, we gotta stand strong. And it doesn't end with the truckers...it ends with every industry, whether its truckers, doctors, nurses, construction workers, pilots, janitors, teachers, you name it."
Law enforcement then decided to clamp down on these demonstrations so that they would not be able to gain steam. As further reported by Global News, “'While we do not disclose our operational tactics, we can tell you that in light of what transpired in Ottawa, an extensive amount of planning and resources went into supporting our operations on those weekends in order to mitigate any impacts on critical infrastructure, businesses, residents and roadways,' a spokesperson for Toronto police told Global News."
Protests comparable to those in Ottawa were never able to materialize. Of the $7.6 million that Toronto police spent on combatting the potential "occupation," according to Global News, "the vast majority of the public money used to avoid an occupation of Toronto ($6.8 million) went on overtime payments to police officers, with $132,299 categorized as benefits, the freedom of information figures say."