Dear Friends and Neighbours,
At Monday’s Special City Council meeting addressing the occupation, I moved a motion that the Council of the City of Ottawa formally petition the Government of Canada to assume responsibility for public safety and security within the Parliamentary Precinct and to commit to an immediate and significant increased level of support (officers, resources, materials and equipment) to the Ottawa Police so that they are able to turn their full attention to our residential neighbourhoods that have, to date, been abandoned by your City, Province and Federal governments.
My motion was adopted by Council. Please let your Member of Parliament and the Mayor know that you support this separation of duties and want to see it put in place immediately. Giving the federal government full responsibility for securing the area around Parliament Hill will allow Ottawa police to patrol our neighbourhoods and enforce peace and lawful behaviour.
Other measure taken yesterday include:
- Calling on provincial and federal governments to provide all necessary financial and logistical supports required to bring the protest to a peaceful end and allow the City of Ottawa to return to normal.
- Condemning the racism, antisemitism and discrimination respectively experienced by the Black, Jewish, Muslim, racialized and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
- Removing vehicles illegally parked in residential areas.
- Requesting both the provincial and federal governments fund supports for Ottawa businesses, employees and community social support agencies impacted by the protest.
- Seeking increases to noise, idling, use and care of roads and open-air fire by-law set fines to $1,000.
- Amending the existing idling by-law to allow idling in occupied vehicles only when the temperature outside is less than -15 C including the windchill within the protest area.
- Seeking permission from the Province to recover demonstration-related policing costs from any persons deemed responsible for such costs.
Myself and my urban Council colleagues are also pursuing legal action against the occupation’s leaders and looking at ways to have the truck owners’ insurance companies suspend or cancel their coverage. This will pressure them to stop participating in illegal and dangerous activities. Unfortunately we have not convinced the Mayor nor senior staff of the necessity of these measures. It is increasingly obvious who does not live of work in the downtown neighbourhoods under siege. You can be certain that I continue to work everyday to find solutions to exit this illegal occupation.
Meanwhile, there was a glimmer of hope yesterday when two local lawyers and a young resident of Centretown were successful in having a judge grant an injunction against the excessive use of horns. By the accounts I am receiving, this did seem to have a positive effect overnight and into today.
Please stay vigilant, stay safe, and report anything you see to 911.