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“It didn’t have to be this way”

By September 26, 2022January 17th, 2023No Comments
(OPC photo)

The third witness at the Sept. 21 hearing, who described herself as a communication professional who has worked with the City of Ottawa, described the impact of the convoy occupation on her life.

“It is unthinkable to me that senior leadership was not aware of the ongoing harms to the community from the very beginning after the first weekend. As I’m sure, issues were being flagged up by staff to the control group and decision makers regularly. Why did they not change course once it was clear their risk assessment and intelligence gathering function failed? Why did they keep relying on intelligence and advice that was proven to be wrong? What use is an emergency management plan if it’s failed to be put into practice and why does the City not have any urgency in getting its house in order? What is the City doing to prevent this from happening again? The city has a self-imposed requirement for an after-action report following an emergency but that is not enough. The official response so far does not meet the severity of the situation, it’s been seven months and there’s been no support provided to residents.

My husband and I lived on the 21st floor of a high-rise condo at Gloucester and Lyon. We moved this summer as a result of the convoy and our experience. After the convoy, we never really recovered our love of the neighborhood or even the businesses that were there, or the safety. We have two dogs so similar to previous speakers it really impacted our ability to care for our animals as well as care for our own mental health. I experienced a lot of large vehicles, I have videos of law breaking, I have videos of cars going down the wrong way on Lyon Street. I had called and reported fireworks going off, a bonfire being built beside a Hydro Ottawa building. I had called and reported that and was told that there was no concern and that people had already been on site and that I was not to be worried.

We need to know what went wrong, where the system failed, who made what calls . . . This was preventable, or at least the damage could have been mitigated. It didn’t have to be this way”.

You can view the full testimony here.