Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Ahh ... the sound of silence.
Over Saturday and Sunday, the joint integrated enforcement team of the Mounties and the Ontario Provincial Police, joined by police officers from Toronto, Vancouver, Durham, and Gatineau cleared the streets.
New interim Ottawa Police Services chief Steven Bell has been on TV many times stating that this was an Ottawa Police-led operation but, to us, this seems like attempted face saving after three weeks allowing a siege on their city.
Speaking of TV (and radio): what in the name of Samuel de Champlain’s upsidedown astrolab were you doing CTV Ottawa, CBC, and CFRA? Where were your broadcasts? CTV Ottawa and CFRA spent most of the the daytime hours on paid programming, and the evenings on syndicated programming. CBC showed the Olympics.
ICI Radio Canada Ottawa was the real hero, staying with the police enforcement for the duration.
Today, the streets are almost completely clear but the area below is still surrounded by checkpoints. Only residents and businesses allowed. It’s so strict that we've heard that Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes are being turned away.
The integrated enforcement team worked on the principal of allowing protestors to leave, rather than arresting them, resulting in a tally of only 191 arrests.
Three arrested siege ringleaders had their initial court dates over the weekend and today. Christopher Barber was released on bail Saturday and went back home to Saskatchewan. Tamara Lich was denied bail and will remain in custody until her trial. Patrick King had his bail hearing today and the decision will be made later in the week.
Remaing truckers have set up four encampments around Ottawa on private land.
The politicians have weighed in: the Federal Government has announced a $20 million fund for Ottawa small businesses. It will consist of $10,000 non-repayable grants and available ‘soon’.
At Queen's Park, the opposition parties all blame the Province for being absent during the siege. Premier Doug Ford was not in attendance, but finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy says some sort of funding for Ottawa will happen.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says that towed vehicles should be sold to cover the City's costs to no one in particular.
Rideau-Vanier ward councillor Mathieu Fleury says there will be a vote to keep Wellington Street closed to traffic at tomorrow's City Council meeting.
Coincidentally – really coincidentally, not coincidentally the way that we usually use it – there has been a proposal to pedestrianize Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. And the proposal is really great, creating ‘a venue where the District can showcase art and entertainment, and host events while still having a lively streetscape that can be a destination on a daily basis’.
In the miscellaneous files of stories we're not sure how to process, we have:
And everyone remember that bus routes 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 55, 56, 85 and 114 as well as all Para Transpo trips to or from the Rideau-Vanier and Somerset wards are free for the next 30 days or so, Transfers will not be given because OC Transpo still has not learned anything.
We'll see you tomorrow – Martha and Darren
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