PIPSC condemns convoy occupation of downtown Ottawa

As the convoy holding downtown Ottawa hostage enters week two, it is time for all levels of government to step in and protect public safety.

PIPSC strongly believes in the Charter-protected right of Canadians to protest peacefully, but as has been proven over the past week, this convoy has had a detrimental effect on local residents, businesses and workers at the center -city.

Convoy protesters flouted public health guidelines, threatened workers and community members – especially racialized people, 2SLGBTQ+ people and women. PIPSC deplores the images of swastikas, Confederate flags and other symbols of hatred brandished throughout the presence of the convoy in the capital.

Many downtown small businesses, already struggling due to the pandemic, have been forced to close due to concerns for employee safety. Reports of hate crimes have skyrocketed. Some residents are stuck at home for fear of leaving. Our members tell us that sleeping, let alone working from home, is a struggle with the constant honking of car horns. Residential areas are invaded by noise, the smell of fuel and the influx of participants in the convoy.

We understand that people are tired and frustrated. Now is the time to focus on delivering strong public services and providing 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.

Michael A. Bynum