Chris Lewis, January 15, 2013 | Video statement, YouTube
There may be situations requiring our immediate enforcement action and we will at times do so. But otherwise, we will continue to investigate these incidents and will lay charges after the event where appropriate. It is a strong tribute to the professionalism of the men and women of the OPP that after over 60 individual protest events in OPP jurisdictions, there has not been a single report of an injury to a protestor, a member of the public or an officer.
As always, public safety is our paramount concern. Whether we like it or not, the First Nations people of Ontario have long-time disputes with government. We cannot solve those issues as a police service. As well, First Nations have the ability to paralyze this country by shutting down travel and trade routes. It is a difficult situation, no matter how we view or address it.
When policing these events, we will be criticized, sometimes from all sides. Our response at all times needs to be measured, professional and sensitive. I’d rather be criticized for a decision to not jeopardize, take or lose lives, than for taking unnecessary aggressive action.