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First presidential visit since 2016; heavy security presence in Ottawa

BY The Canadian Press, Mar 22, 2023 7:23 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

The last time the country hosted a president was in 2016, when former president Barack Obama came to Ottawa for the North American Leaders' Summit near the end of his second term. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

At least seven different police and military units will be patrolling Ottawa's skies and streets this week as the city braces for the arrival of U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

They are set to arrive Thursday for the first official visit to Canada since Biden took office as president in 2021 and will stay overnight until Friday.

The last time the country hosted a president was in 2016, when former president Barack Obama came to Ottawa for the North American Leaders' Summit near the end of his second term.

Biden's sojourn will take place under a heavy police presence, with the RCMP saying security for him and the first lady will be provided through an integrated security unit.

The Mounties say they are working with the Canadian military, the U.S. Secret Service, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Parliamentary Protective Service, as well as local officers in Ottawa and across the river in Gatineau, Que.

Retired Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau, who served as a superintendent during Obama's first official trip in 2009, says extensive planning goes into each presidential visit, and the fact Biden is staying overnight will take even more resources.

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