On Feb. 18, 2023, a group of protesters gathered on Parliament Hill to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the removal of Freedom Convoy in Ottawa following the invocation of the Emergencies Act by the federal government in February 2022. On that day, police had increased their operations to clear demonstrators and remove parked trucks, using pepper spray and batons, and in some cases, smashing vehicle windows. The act was revoked on Feb. 23, 2022.
The rally was held a day after the Public Order Emergency Commission released its final report, with Commissioner Paul Rouleau saying in his Feb. 17 report that he had found “with reluctance” that the government had met the threshold to use the act.
Ottawa police blocked some areas of downtown Ottawa to prevent any disruptions to the Winterlude festival. Protesters marched around the Parliament Hill area and listened to speeches, with many holding Canadian flags.