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Woman who danced on Tomb of the Unknown Soldier won’t face criminal charges

Ottawa police say they won’t charge a woman who danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial during the convoy protest this past winter.

During a news conference Thursday morning about an upcoming multi-day motorcycle rally, Deputy Chief Trish Ferguon said she believed charges were coming, but after a follow-up question to police that comment was disputed.

A police spokesperson said the woman would not be charged.

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“A woman who resides out of province was identified. She was spoken to, showed remorse for her actions and police are confident she will not re-offend,” the force said in an email.

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“She was processed by other means, which is a police practice.”

When asked to clarify what that means, the spokesperson said police sometimes use “informal processes” to conclude criminal investigations, which could include using city bylaws, diversion programs or warnings.

“[We] are satisfied this was an isolated incident that won’t happen again from this person,” Ottawa police wrote in an email.

The Jan. 29 incident drew widespread condemnation from politicians. It happened on the first day of the Freedom Convoy protest that turned into a weeks-long occupation of streets around Parliament Hill.

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Protesters pose for photos with their banners in front of the National War Memorial as veterans clear snow and ice off the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa two weeks into the convoy protest. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the remains of “an unidentified Canadian soldier from Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery in the vicinity of Vimy Ridge,” according to Veterans Affairs Canada.

They were laid to rest at the northern end of Elgin Street in May 2000.

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