As the convoy holding downtown Ottawa hostage enters in the second week, it’s time for all levels of government to step in and protect the public’s safety.
PIPSC firmly believes in Canadians’ Charter-protected right to peaceful protest, but as has been proven over the past week, this convoy has had a detrimental impact on local residents, businesses and downtown workers.
Convoy demonstrators have been flouting public health guidelines, threatening workers, and members of the community – specifically racialized folks, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and women. PIPSC deplores the images of swastikas, confederate flags, and other symbols of hate brandished throughout the convoy’s presence in the capital.
Many small businesses in the downtown core, already struggling as a result of the pandemic, have been forced to close due to concerns for employee safety. Reports of hate crimes have skyrocketed. Some residents are trapped in their homes out of fear of leaving. We are hearing from our members that sleeping, let alone working from home, is a struggle with the constant blaring of horns. Residential areas are being overrun by noise, the smell of fuel smells and an influx of convoy participants.
We understand that people are tired and frustrated. It is now time to focus on delivering strong public services and provide workers with access to care leave, fair wages and a safe workplace.
For now, the horns must stop – it’s time for the convoy to leave.