OTTAWA (Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022) — The Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation is pleased to announce its first public hearings will be held Sept. 21 and 22 at community centres in Centretown and Lowertown — two of the neighbourhoods most adversely affected by the trucker blockade that paralyzed parts of the national capital for three weeks last winter.
- The Sept. 21 hearing will take place at the McNabb Community Centre, 180 Percy Street, from 2-4 p.m.
- The Sept. 22 hearing will be held in Le Patro d’Ottawa at 40 Cobourg Street, from 7-9 p.m.
The OPC is also announcing the addition of a fourth Commissioner — author and human rights activist Monia Mazigh — to the lineup of distinguished individuals who will oversee a series of public hearings and community consultations throughout the fall.
Mazigh and the other commissioners — housing rights advocate Leilani Farha, human rights lawyer Alex Neve and social justice activist Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah — plan to produce a final report by early 2023 with recommendations aimed at rebuilding trust and accountability in a city deeply traumatized by the convoy occupation.
“I’m proud to join this group of commissioners in providing a forum for Ottawa residents to share their experiences of the occupation,” said Mazigh, who is also an adjunct professor of literature at Carleton University. “We see these hearings as a venue for healing and for justice and we’re committed to creating a safe space where community members can come forward to tell their stories”
Mazigh is an award-winning author who writes in French and English. Her latest novel, Farida, won the Ottawa Book Award for French fiction. Her new memoir, My personal journey with a ‘Scar…f’, will be published in 2023.
Mazigh has campaigned and raised funds for affordable housing and serves as ‘godmother’ for a scholarship fund for young refugees from the Middle East living in Gatineau. She sits on the boards of the Rideau Institute, Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Association des Auteures et Auteurs de l’Ontario français. Monia is a member of the International Advisory Council for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
Unlike the federal inquiries that focus on the Emergencies Act or the City auditor’s study on the impact on services, the Ottawa People’s Commission is a grassroots initiative that centres the experience and concerns of the people who live and work in the neighbourhoods affected by the convoy occupation.
Community members who wish to appear before the Commission at these or future hearings are asked to register through the Commission’s website, opc-cpo.ca.
The commissioners will gather testimony through both in-person and online public gatherings between September and December. Special consultations with affected communities will also take place. And written submissions are being accepted through the commission’s website, opc-cpo.ca.
The Commission is funded by donations from the public, foundations, businesses, unions, and local agencies committed to rebuild and renew our community. Donations can be made at opc-cpo.ca.
For more information visit opc-cpo.ca or contact:
Gaëlle Muderi, OPC Project Coordinator
Randy Boswell, OPC Communications Coordinator
[email protected] or 613-868-8447
Tim McSorley, French-language media contact
[email protected] or 613-608-9917