In this case, as I have already mentioned, the police had
a long history of dealing with disputes in the Caledonia area.
They were aware of the potential for clashes to occur with little
warning and for what might appear to be minor skirmishes
to escalate very quickly. It was the obligation and duty of
the O.P.P. to be prepared and to take reasonable steps to avoid
 I note on this point that the trial judge said, at p. 59, that
“the actions on May 24, 2009 must be based on what happened
on that date, not what the situation was in 2006”. I disagree.
One cannot compartmentalize the history of events in the Caledonia area and thus isolate individual incidents one from the
other. The steps taken by the O.P.P. on May 24, 2009 were necessarily, and properly, informed by the history of the various confrontations that had occurred.
 In that regard, the decision of Inspector Skinner to adopt,
as part of the operational plan, a “buffer zone” between the fac-
tions was an entirely legitimate one. Police have the authority to
create such zones for proper purposes in order to carry out their
duties. For example, in R. v. Knowlton,  S.C.R. 443, 
S.C.J. No. 87, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the creation
of a buffer zone around the entrance to a hotel in Edmonton
where the premier of the then U.S.S.R. was attending. In
upholding the restriction on access to the hotel’s entrance,
Fauteux C.J.C. said, at pp. 447-48 S.C.R.:
According to the principles which, for the preservation of peace and pre-
vention of crime, underlie the provisions of s. 30, amongst others, of the
Code, these official authorities were not only entitled but in duty bound, as
peace officers, to prevent a renewal of a like criminal assault on the person
of Premier Kosygin during his official visit in Canada. In this respect, they
had a specific and binding obligation to take proper and reasonable steps.
The restriction of the right of free access of the public to public streets,
at the strategic point mentioned above, was one of the steps — not an unu-
sual one — which police authorities considered and adopted as necessary for
the attainment of the purpose aforesaid. In my opinion, such conduct of
the police was clearly falling within the general scope of the duties imposed
 A similar point was made by Rouleau J.A. in Figueiras,
at para. 60:
As the case law demonstrates, even in the absence of statutory authority,
the police must be taken to have the power to limit access to certain areas,
even when those areas are normally open to the public.
 It must also be remembered that the focus of the O.P.P.’s
attention was with the group of protestors who were organizing
to the north of DCE and who were expected to march south
towards DCE for the flag raising. The respondent’s presence