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Orderly Canada Day sees fewer calls to Ottawa bylaw officers than in 2020

People wear the maple leaf as they wave into a camera phone as they walk along Wellington Street in Ottawa on Canada Day, Thursday, July 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa’s bylaw department saw a 21 per cent decline in calls on this year’s July 1 holiday compared with Canada Day in 2020.

The second year of Canada Day in the COVID-19 pandemic saw bylaw officers more concerned with education than enforcement, according to Ottawa’s acting regulatory director Jennifer Therkelsen, who noted in a statement to Global News that the province had entered Step 2 of its reopening plan just one day before July 1.

The current regulations allow for gatherings of up to 25 people outdoors and five people indoors.

Click to play video: 'A different kind of Canada Day' A different kind of Canada Day
A different kind of Canada Day – Jul 1, 2021

Bylaw received 16 calls for service related to the provincial orders, Therkelsen said, with two verbal warnings issued to residents hosting more than five people in their homes.

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Canada Day saw three charges for noise bylaw infractions and three charges under Ottawa’s parks and facilities bylaw.

Therkelsen said bylaw officers were patrolling parks and beaches across the city on Thursday including Mooney’s Bay, where she said a “large number of residents” had set up for the day.

Officers interacted with “hundreds” of residents to remind them about the provincial orders, she said.

Last year’s Canada Day saw police disperse a late-night gathering of residents at Mooney’s Bay, but this year the beach closed two hours earlier than usual at 9 p.m. due to recent issues at the popular park.

While the Ottawa police traffic unit said on Twitter that five people were stopped and arrested for impaired driving on Canada Day, an OPS spokesperson said that there were no charges handed out for public intoxication over the holiday.

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Breakdown of reasons for calls to bylaw on Canada Day 2021:

  • Noise, 88
  • Fireworks, 75
  • Animals, 56
  • Provincial enforcement, 16
  • Parks, 9

These totals and any associated charges could rise as officers continue to process a large volume of calls into Friday.

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