01 Mar River Ward E-Newsletter, mars 1, 2022 | Bulletin electronique de Quartier Rivière 1 mars 2022
River Ward Community Update
The month of March has always been a month of hope for me, the arrival of Spring, warmer temperatures and a visit to a sugar bush for a sweet treat.
Today is St David’s Day (Patron Saint of Wales) and Mardi Gras, traditionally a night to feast on pancakes in my house before Lent begins on Wednesday. Later this month, those of with Irish heritage or even Irish for the day, will celebrate St Patrick’s Day on the 17th. March is also the ‘Mois de la Francophonie’ – the richness and vitality of La Francophonie is celebrated around the world.
On a more serious tone, last month was quite contentious in Ottawa, particularly with the 3+ week occupation of the downtown core by those calling themselves the Truckers Convoy. Although the occupation has come to an end, many questions remain. City Council and the Ottawa Police Services Board have both passed motions calling for a thorough and independent assessment of what happened, the planning that took place in advance and how the operation was managed. Personally, I am not looking for a witch hunt. I want to know what went well, what went wrong and make significant and immediate changes to procedure to ensure that when this happens again all parties are much better prepared. I also want a better understanding of how the various police services collaborate together and whether Wellington Street should become the jurisdiction of the federal government or remain a municipal street.
A private class action lawsuit has been launched against the participants of the occupation and under the Ontario Police Services Act, organizers of the occupation may be held liable for the policing costs. Last week, the policing costs alone eclipsed $30 million. City Council has passed approximately 15 motions related to the occupation, if you are interested in understanding more, please reach out to me.
Following a special statement I issued at the beginning of February, some residents accused me of not supporting people’s right to protest – nothing could be further from the truth. Protesting, speaking out against a government or government policy is fair game, I will always defend that right.
Stay safe, stay well.
City Councillor, Conseiller municipal
River Ward, Quartier Rivière
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