Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney sent a joint letter to Premier Ford today, requesting provincial support for our city following the "freedom convoy" protests.
Click here to download the .pdf version of this letter or read the text below:
Premier Doug Ford
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Tuesday, February 1st, 2022
Dear Premier Ford,
We write to you on behalf of downtown Ottawa residents who’ve had to endure violence and harassment at the hands of a few participants of the “freedom convoy” that came to our city this weekend.
We have seen anti-semitic and white nationalist flags being flown around town. We have heard accounts of frontline and service workers being yelled at and harassed for refusing to serve maskless convoy participants.
In the middle of a homelessness crisis, a shelter in our city was forced to serve them food that was meant for our neighoburs in need. A homeless individual outside the shelter was physically assaulted.
Paramedics had rocks thrown at them and racial slurs hurled at them. As a result, they have asked for police escorts because they did not feel safe.
Ottawa residents — especially downtown Ottawa residents — have had enough. We need the provincial government to support our city in returning to a sense of normalcy and safety.
Our small businesses (who are already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic) need help to recover from the financial losses they’ve incurred as a result of having to close and keep themselves and their staff safe.
Frontline and shift workers lost wages because their workplace closed, or because they feared for their safety. They need urgent help to cover their lost income.
Our neighbours in Centretown who have had their homes and streets trashed need support to clean up. We are asking you to step in immediately with financial support to make this happen right away.
Further to that, for the convoy protesters that still remain, we are asking for provincial support to investigate and fine all convoy protesters engaged in parking infractions, public health infractions, and workplace safety infractions. Now is the time to act.
The residents of downtown Ottawa are looking to you for support as we recover from this weekend. We need and expect a prompt reply.
cc: Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing