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“I was told there would be no response because we were in the red zone”

By January 29, 2023No Comments

At the Dec 6 public hearing, Michelle Hurtubise, the executive director of Centretown Community Health Centre, shared their experience of the convoy occupation as a service provider. 

“Our most challenging day was likely on February 5th when we decided to continue holding our COVID vaccination clinic on the Saturday for children 5 to 12. We had been planning this for several weeks and we knew that for many families we were the most convenient and accessible location for vaccinations. However, due to the attacks and threats that others had received on social media, we scrubbed any promotion of our clinic on social media and made individual calls to families to let them know that we were going ahead. 

There were individuals setting in open fire pits in front of our offices while drinking beer and so we were concerned for the safety of individuals coming for appointments, I called Ottawa Police to address the fires in front of our building and was told in no uncertain terms that there would be no response because we were in the red zone. In response, I tweeted a picture of the fires that were happening and saying that we had been told that there would be no response and within an hour there was a response from police and bylaw who thankfully did move the individuals with the fires along, but also ticketed a family who had been parked in an accessible spot to bring their kids to vaccination because it was the only place available with all the protest vehicles blocking all the other parking and lighting fires. As soon as they left, it was filled with protesters who didn’t receive a single ticket the rest of the day.”

You can view the full testimony here.