Ontario skipping third meeting with federal, Ottawa governments to discuss ongoing protests
Sources say Ontario has turned down three invitations to participate
Representatives of the Ontario government have declined a third invitation to participate in trilateral talks to deal with ongoing anti-vaccine mandate protests, sources tell CBC News.
A provincial source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told CBC the government of Ontario Premier Doug Ford does not think trilateral talks between the federal, provincial and Ottawa municipal governments are necessary since all three levels of government have kept in touch since the protests started.
A meeting of representatives of all three levels of government was scheduled for this afternoon.
Earlier this week, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair announced plans to set up the meeting with the two other levels of government to co-ordinate efforts to end the protest.
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A spokesperson for Ontario's solicitor general added in a statement that policing protests is a responsibility carried out by local police services.
"Politicians at all levels cannot direct the police," said Stephen Warner.
"To be clear: police services, including the Ottawa Police Service, have full discretion and extensive existing legislative authority under the Criminal Code to respond to and manage demonstrations and take enforcement action, as appropriate, against any individuals committing crimes in their jurisdiction."