Canadian Federalism, Multilevel Politics and the Occupation of Ottawa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2022

Jerald Sabin


For three weeks in early 2022, the streets of downtown Ottawa were occupied by protestors associated with the so-called Freedom Convoy. The inability of Ottawa’s municipal police to end the protest was not only a spectacular failure of local policing but also a failure of national security policy. This article brings together literatures on Canadian federalism, multilevel politics and federal capitals to argue that the occupation of Ottawa demonstrates a misalignment between the political and jurisdictional responsibility for Ottawa’s public and national security. Potential reforms range from the expansion of federal authority over the Parliamentary Precinct to the restructuring of the National Capital Region as a federal district or territory.

Read full article here…