For the General Manager of the Business Improvement Zone (BIA) of the street SparksKevin McHalethe protests that paralyzed the city center for three weeks seem far away, but also near.
But they could quickly come to mind for some Ottawa businesses and residents.
Groups of protesters, most of them from the trucking convoy, say they plan to hold demonstrations throughout the summer in Ottawa, starting June 30 until around Labor Day .
According to Kevin McHalethe recent demonstrations, including the rally
rolling thunderfollowed a more traditional trajectory, where people come, say what they have to say, then go home.
I think what’s most concerning is what all the talk about this is doing to the citizens of Ottawabelieves Mr. McHale.
” The hype that’s building around this, which is raising concerns, which is building on concerns that people have had since February, it’s just putting a lot more pressure on the shoulders of our members and it’s very difficult to to manage. »
These fears can quickly turn into one more reason not to visit downtown Ottawa, adds Mr. McHale.
The Ottawa Jazz Festival raises concerns similar to those of Kevin McHale.
The event’s production manager, Catherine O’Gradypoints out that participants and artists have shared their fears about the planned demonstrations.
This situation prompted her to issue a statement last week assuring ticket holders that they would not be
bullied or threatened by outsiders.
We are not canceling our event
Katherine O’Grady indicates that another message is being written for the artists in which she assures them that they will be safe.
My God, this is Canada! […] Why do we need to reassure our artists who come from the United States that they will be safe in the nation’s capital? she says.
The Ottawa Jazz Festival runs from June 24 to July 3. The main stage for the event will be erected in Confederation Park, where a pit camp was located during the event last February.
When festival organizers asked the City for support, one of the first reactions from city staff was to ask if the team was considering canceling the festival, says Catherine O’Grady.
On Wednesday, following a meeting with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), the festival’s production manager was assured that
all measurements are put in place to ensure their safety, she said.
Police plan to be on the ground and monitor access to Confederation Park. The police force would also have suggested that all the trucks of the festival be clearly identified, since the police officers will stop the vehicles on the promenade of the Queen-Elizabeth.
We are really relieved to hear all this and, of course, we are not canceling our event. Absolutely notsays the head of production of the Ottawa Jazz Festival.
A summer of protests
is not sustainable for the police
Last week the OPSsaid he was aware of the demonstration scheduled for 1er July and explained to prepare accordingly, in collaboration with the organizers of the Canada Day celebrations.
Public safety consultant and former Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau reminds us that Canada Day itself requires a lot of police resources.
According to Mr. Bordeleau, the OPSshould already be in communication with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and other services to ensure there are enough officers available that day.
If you don’t have the resources on the ground to set the tone and communicate with those who want to come and disrupt, it won’t be acceptable if you fail.says the former head of OPS .
The police learned lessons from the convoy of truckers, including the need to obtain reliable information and to deploy troops on the ground, underlines Charles Bordeleau. However, he believes a summer of protests would be a challenge.
I think the police department has made it clear that this is not sustainable […] due to the number of resources needed to keep everyone safehe adds.
The City and the police will present their plan on Monday
Mayor Jim Watson said Wednesday that the City and the OPSwill hold a press conference on Monday to outline their plans for the Canada Day long weekend.
My message to people who want to come celebrate our country’s birthday is: don’t be intimidated by people who might come to Ottawa with the intention of causing trouble.said Jim Watson after the city council meeting.
The behavior seen during the January and February protests will not be tolerated, the mayor of Ottawa added.
This is not an opportunity for you to use our city as a springboard for various grievances.Mr. Watson said.
May Canadians celebrate their country’s birthday in peace!
For Kevin McHale of the ZAC from the street Sparksthe January and February protests were one of the few times in decades where street businesses Sparks had to close their doors. But after two tough years of the pandemic, that’s no longer an option, he adds.
Mr. McHale says he’s not too worried about Canada Day. However, he asks the demonstrators:
please don’t yell at people passing by and don’t interfere in their lives […]. That’s all! And if everyone respects that, you can protest and the others can come and celebratehe concludes.
With information from Dan Taekema of CBC News
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