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Ottawa police say they “met the challenges” of the busy Canada Day long weekend, which featured the first in-person celebrations since the pandemic began alongside protests.

City officials promised a robust police presence and zero tolerance for those breaking bylaws or causing disturbances as they planned for the return of anti-government and anti-COVID-19-mandate protesters.

A march and gathering at the National War Memorial Thursday evening drew a large crowd of over 1,000 people, but protests planned for Canada Day itself were much smaller.

Police say they arrested 12 people and laid 50 criminal charges, although only some appear to be related to the protests.

Four people were arrested Thursday evening and three were eventually charged after police say an officer was choked during an altercation at the war memorial.

Another man was arrested earlier that day for allegedly breaching bail conditions barring him from entering Ottawa.

Other incidents included a fight near LeBreton Flats on Canada Day, where police say a 19-year-old man was arrested at gunpoint after brandishing a knife at RCMP; an alleged assault on the same day in Lower Town, where a 38-year-old man and a 42-year-old man were arrested; along with several weapons and drug charges over the weekend.

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