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Tow truck companies rejecting Ottawa police request for help: source

Local towing companies are rejecting Ottawa police requests for help towing ‘Freedom Convoy’ trucks out of the downtown core, according to a senior police source.

The source told CTV News Ottawa that even if police decided to tow the trucks from the downtown streets they have been clogging up for the past week, they wouldn’t have enough tow trucks to do it.

Police outreach to tow truck companies across the city has been rebuffed, the source said.

The source said police are considering launching a criminal investigation into whether intimidation of the tow truck companies is leading to their lack of cooperation with police.

Police would only have access to city-owned tow trucks used for OC Transpo buses, of which there are a limited number.

Asked about the concern on Friday, Mayor Jim Watson said that information had not been brought to him, but the city has its own fleet of tow trucks.

“All contingency plans are being worked on,” he told CTV News on Friday. “The city has a number of heavy industrial tow trucks as well, so there’s that availability, plus other companies that the city deals with on a pretty regular basis.”

Ottawa Police Deputy Chief Steve Bell said Friday there are between 200 and 250 trucks parked in the downtown core.

Police expect another 300 to 400 truck drivers to try making their way downtown this weekend, but they are setting up roadblocks and planning to direct the truckers to parking spots outside the core.

Until now, the police strategy with the remaining truckers was primarily one of negotiation. That succeeded in reducing their numbers throughout the week.

Friday morning, police said they are adopting a “surge and contain strategy,” which includes sending 150 more officers to affected neighbourhoods and barricading the protest “red zone” to cut off people who want to drive downtown. Top Stories

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