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Protests in Downtown Oakville


The Board of Directors and BIA team have been asked to advocate for restricting or stopping protests in the downtown core. Our Town representative on the Board, Janet Haslett-Theall, has investigated into this matter and can advise the following:


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly.


What and who determines if it is peaceful and maintains public order?

The Halton Police have this responsibility while ensuring the right to protest is upheld in a safe manner.


Is there an opportunity to restrict protests from downtown and let them do it in other areas?

No, we cannot restrict individuals protesting downtown. Downtown is not a 400 series highway where they are restricted.


Can you limit length of time or not provide a permit?

Protest permits are not issued by the Town or any other authority due to the fundamental right to protest.

What actions can be taken?

Through sharing information and keeping lines of communication open, the Town and Halton Police do their best to work with protest organizers to provide for a safe and minimally disruptive environment for a demonstration. The Halton Police focus on ensuring the public safety for everyone. Should there be breaches of the Criminal Code or Provincial statute it is the Police that will determine actions to take at the time or following the protest. If the protesters do become more aggressive, the police are continually assessing the situation and will determine what actions to take.

What is there is damage to our property?

Contact the police with any evidence you have, and they will investigate to determine if charges can be laid against the offending individual.

Are there no limits to what they can do or say?

Halton police deploy resources to protests to observe and fulfil their duties to keep the peace, enforce the law, prevent offences, protect property, and protect persons against serious injury. Should there be breaches of the Criminal Code or Provincial statute it is the Police that will gather evidence and determine actions to take at the time or following the protest, including charges. If you have evidence following the protest, please call the Halton Police 905 825 4777. The Halton Police website shares details on protests and addresses any limits in place and their duties during a protest.


If you have any further questions regarding protests and/or the above information, please contact Halton Police at 905-825-4777.


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