G7 Summit protesters to be a 'moderate' security risk
Published Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:58AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 17, 2018 12:40PM EDT
Next month's summit of G7 leaders has been flagged as a "moderate" security risk for Quebec City as more than 8,000 police officers will be on hand.
The summit takes place at the Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie, about 140 km northwest of the capital, but protesters are expected to gather in Quebec City.
In addition to the leaders of Canada, France, the U.K., Germany, Japan, and Italy, two leaders from the European Union will be meeting in La Malbaie.
There will also be 3,000 delegates, 2,000 journalists, and many more official employees working in Ottawa, La Malbaie, and Quebec City.
The event is also expected to attract thousands of protesters, and at this point police don't know where people will be voicing their discontent.
Police say they will take many precautions to control protests, including setting up checkpoints on the roads near Quebec City and La Malbaie..
"Depending on the information we have, the risk that's involved, that will determine the number of checkpoints that will be there. Naturally we don't want to tell you where they will be and when they will be there because that's a part of the security process," said Lt. Jason Allard of the Sureté du Quebec.
There will be a fence around the National Assembly, and certain designated protest zones around Quebec City.
"For the [National Assembly] it will be protected by the Sureté du Quebec security forces that are already on site," said Allard.
However police said that for the most part people will be given free access to go where they wish, and said they will respect the right to peaceful protest.
Meanwhile residents of Quebec City expressed their concerns Wednesday evening at an information session.
People asked what was going to happen if protests turned violent, as they have many times in the past.
"If there are protests and it goes badly, if tear gas is being hurled in many sectors, and children are stuck in their daycares, how will we manage that? How will rescue our little loved ones?" asked the owner of one daycare.
Allard said police will do what they can to keep everyone safe.
"I think it's up to every person to decide what they want to do. If they want to protect a business, we will be out there, the police officers will be out there, we'll be working together to protect. It's part of our mandate.
Last summer 600 protesters for and against immigration clashed near the National Assembly, and garbage cans were set on fire while some protesters hurled bottles.
Seventeen years ago thousands of protesters marched through the streets to show their opposition to globalization during the Summit of the Americas protest weekend. During that weekend protesters tore down a security fence and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The G7 summit takes place on June 8 and 9.