Freedom Convoy cost RCMP millions, documents show

The RCMP spent more than $1.6 million during the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, according to a CBC access to information request.

Documents also revealed that the force spent an additional $1.2 million on policing protests in Alberta, most of it at the US border in Coutts, Alta.

In total, the RCMP spent nearly $3 million policing the two protests.

The streets of downtown Ottawa were blocked off for several weeks as thousands converged around Parliament Hill to protest various grievances ranging from pandemic-related mandates to general disdain for the federal government. The police were eventually able to successfully remove the protesters, tow trucks and other vehicles that clogged the main arteries of the city center.

Requests for access to information show that the RCMP’s security costs processed by its financial system during the Ottawa protests reached $1,626,422 between January 23 and March 1.

Police closely follow protesters in downtown Ottawa to protest COVID-19 mandates on January 30, 2022. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

Most spending in Ottawa, according to the documents, is for travel.

The expenses disclosed by the RCMP do not include regular salary and “indirect costs, including those related to support units”.

The $1.6 million figure, according to the RCMP, represents costs in Ottawa for overtime and travel expenses, including meals and accommodation, processed by the RCMP’s financial system. It shows that in addition to spending $1,626,422 on travel, the RCMP spent $13,000 on accommodations and $6,720 on meals.

A separate RCMP disclosure shows that the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa was used by force for things like prosecuting arrests during its enforcement actions against Freedom Convoy protesters.

A hotel bill summary for the RCMP lists $234,995.79 spent on “events”. The project also shows that the RCMP spent $2,700 on 75 hot buffet breakfast meals at the hotel.

RCMP near the border of Coutts, Alta., in February. (Caminho Nassima/CBC)

No additional information is provided.

Earlier this month, documents released by the city of Ottawa showed its costs from the Freedom Convoy to be in the $37 million range.

spending in Alberta

Between January 29 and February 16, the RCMP spent an additional $1,209,430 on policing in Alberta, most of it on the US border near Coutts.

Slightly more detailed costing of RCMP expenditures in Alberta has been provided. It shows that $158,858.24 was spent on overtime for members at the border and $34,439.25 on “investigative services.”

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