Yukon Weekly

Saturday, September 24, 2022

The $36.6 million Freedom Convoy protest cost the city of Ottawa.

The city of Ottawa spent $36.6 million on the Freedom Convoy protest.

Key Takeaways:

  • The ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest, which occupied downtown Ottawa streets for more than three weeks this winter, cost the city of Ottawa and Ottawa police more than $36 million.
  • Kanellakos informed the council that he had spoken with federal deputy ministers about potential funding to cover the protests’ costs.

The city of Ottawa and Ottawa police spent more than $36 million on the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest that occupied downtown Ottawa streets for further than three weeks this winter.

As of Feb. 28, City Manager Steve Kanellakos gave the council an update on the costs associated with the “illegal convoy occupation.”

According to Kanellakos, the Ottawa police response cost $35 million, including funding for the RCMP’s deployment in the capital.

Also read: As of April 1, Canada will no longer require COVID-19 testing prior to arrival

Compensation, vehicle expenses, food, lodging, and operation supplies are all included in the costs, according to Kanellakos.

The city of Ottawa’s response is $1.3 million, which includes Bylaw Services and public works. Kanellakos says the costs do not include any infrastructure damage or repair estimates.

In a memo to the council, Kanellakos said, “City staff, and OPS staff, are communicating with senior officials at the federal and provincial govts to recover these costs and  will make a formal submission for reimbursement of all costs associated with the response.”

Last month, Kanellakos notified the council that he had been in contact with federal deputy ministers about possible funding to cover the prices of the protests.

The city of Ottawa spent $36.6 million on the Freedom Convoy protest.
The city of Ottawa spent $36.6 million on the Freedom Convoy protest. Image from The Independent

“They certainly expect us to submit both federal as well as provincial costs, and what I was informed is that they would work out an appropriate cost-sharing agreement to fund us,” Kanellakos said, trying to add that Mayor Jim Watson has spoken with Ontario cabinet ministers.

The ‘Freedom Convoy’ arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 28 to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates as well as other public health measures. For more than three weeks, the demonstration shut down Wellington Street and  several roads around Parliament Hill, forcing several businesses to close.

The RCMP, OPP, and municipal police forces from throughout the country assisted Ottawa police in removing demonstrators from the streets and reopening roads on the weekend of February 18, 19, and 20.

Source: CTV News

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