City councillors want province, feds to step in to control ‘freedom convoy’ rally

By CityNews Ottawa

A pair of Ottawa city councillors is looking to the provincial and federal governments to get the ongoing ‘freedom convoy’ protests in the nation’s capital under control.

City councillors Catherine McKenney and Mathieu Fleury issued tweets on Saturday, February 5, asking Ontario and the federal Liberals to do more to end the rally, which entered its second weekend.

Coun. Catherine McKenney of Somerset Ward wants the feds to take “operational control” of the Parliamentary precinct, which would then allow Ottawa police to focus their efforts on Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. 

“On Monday, I will bring a motion to the special City Council meeting asking that the city formally ask the federal government to take control of the Parliamentary Precinct and red zone,” tweeted McKenney.

“This will allow Ottawa Police to focus on protecting our neighbourhoods, residents, and businesses from the violent and intimidating acts of harassment, destruction, and noise that we are currently experiencing, every day.”

Police in Ottawa were expecting roughly 400 more trucks and up to 2,000 people on foot to arrive this weekend to join the protest.

This follows a week-long presence of convoy demonstrators, harassment and horns honking on a near-constant basis, fraying the nerves of residents living in the neighbourhoods near Parliament Hill.

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly on Friday committed to “do better” and pledged a “surge” of 150 extra officers to patrol the demonstration.

McKenney says only 20-25 officers were added “in all of Centretown.”

“By all accounts, this has made no difference. The harassment and illegal activities continue with impunity,” tweeted the city councillor.

Meanwhile Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury also wants Ontario and the federal Liberals to step up.

“Residents of Lowertown, Sandy Hill, and Vanier: I hear you. It is far too loud downtown and this occupation has gone on far too long. This is larger than the City of Ottawa. We need further assistance from Provincial and Federal partners,” he tweeted.

Fleury also issued a statement on Thursday, January 3 where he demanded more help.

“We need Federal and Provincial enforcement agencies to work with Ottawa Police Service to develop and implement a plan which will bring peace to locals,” he wrote.

“We are extremely concerned with the number of incidents and the escalations of these incidents. We need the Ottawa Police to bring sustained and proactive attention into Ottawa’s communities and main street districts.”

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