Ottawa police face ‘flood’ of fake 911 calls; city hacked as trucker convoy continues |

Frustrations and conflicts tied to the trucker convoy in Ottawa are spilling over onto new fronts Thursday, with police reporting “a concerted effort to flood” 911 lines, protesters mobilizing at the local airport and hackers taking aim at city council.

Earlier in the day, city officials had warned of traffic disruptions at the city’s international airport as the trucker convoy encamped across the city enters its 14th day, and some members appeared to be encircling the airport.

That now appears to have ended, but it remains unclear whether the group will move to a different site or return to the airport.

Ottawa police had told Global News they are “aware” of the convoy’s presence at the airport and shortly after, issued a tweet warning of attempts to target emergency lines.

“We are aware of a concerted effort to flood our 911 and non-emergency policing reporting line. This endangers lives and is completely unacceptable,” the police service said.

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“It is a crime to unnecessarily call 911 or our non-emergency number (613-236-1222). We track calls and will charge anyone deliberately interfering with emergencies.”

Read more:

Police warn about significant delays at Ambassador Bridge as protest continues into 4th day

The warning comes as the convoy continues to spread out to sites across the city, and police remain under continued pressure from frustrated residents to end the convoy.

Ottawa city council also became a target Thursday morning.

Councillors were gathering to meet virtually for planning committee but had not yet started city business when the YouTube livestream was interrupted.

The message “OTTAWA POLICE HAS FAILED ITS CITIZENS” occupied the stream for nearly two minutes. Later updates added “Jim Watson has failed us, Sloly has failed us, Trudeau has failed us,” referencing the city’s mayor, police chief and the prime minister.

Ottawa’s planning committee stream was interrupted Thursday by a message against police and political leaders amid the ongoing protests in the nation’s capital.

Global News

The stream was shut down and the video removed.

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When planning committee resumed a few minutes later, city clerk Caitlin Salter-MacDonald seemed to confirm the hack but said the meeting’s public stream should be cleared to continue.

“We were able to resolve the security issue that allowed someone to briefly gain access to the livestream for the planning committee. We believe that issue has been resolved, we’ve been in touch with IT and we’ll be doing a review after the meeting to ensure that does not reoccur again,” she said at the top of the restarted meeting.

Click to play video: 'Truckers protest: Ottawa police arrest individual calling in ‘fake threats’ to divert police resources'

Truckers protest: Ottawa police arrest individual calling in ‘fake threats’ to divert police resources

Truckers protest: Ottawa police arrest individual calling in ‘fake threats’ to divert police resources

Global News has reached out to the city for additional information on the disruption.

Thursday morning’s planning committee, which will consider details of the city’s new Civic Hospital development, is the last scheduled meeting of city business for two weeks. Council voted Wednesday to forgo non-essential committee meetings amid the ongoing demonstrations.

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Federal, provincial and municipal leaders are now calling the activities of the convoy “unlawful” and “illegal,” and Ottawa police have said they are worried about the presence of children in roughly one-quarter of the vehicles still encamped around the city.

Child services have been engaged, officials said earlier in the week.

The Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services said it could not comment on whether any investigations have been opened by local aid societies into the welfare of the children in the trucks.

More to come.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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