The three week long occupation of downtown Ottawa as part of the so-called “freedom convoy” will cost around $30 million, officials said Wednesday.
“It goes without saying that this was a massive undertaking that required the commitments of thousands of individuals working in very difficult conditions,” Steve Kanellakos, Ottawa’s City Manager, said during city council. “We don’t have an exact cost of what we spent so far on the protests, but we anticipate that the cost will be close to $30 million in which we’ll be seeking funding from the federal and provincial governments.”
The exact cost numbers are expected to be provided to council and federal and provincial partners next week.
Kanellakos has also directed the city’s solicitor to explore whether there are legal options to sell seized vehicles to help recoup costs.
When it comes to cleaning up the site, ten, 25 cubic meter waste bins have been filled with garbage and collected from the streets, so far.
“We’ll likely have another three or four bins from Coventry Road location by the end of the day today,” Kanellakos noted. “We also insure that any fuel left by the protesters was safely collected and disposed of.”
The city’s by-law and regulatory services have issued over 3,700 tickets since the beginning of the protest. Kallenakos also said police are tracking all protesters and encampments outside the city for the up coming weekend and are prepared to act if necessary.
“I have that assurance from interim chief Bell that police are prepared, as is the city, to respond to any attempt to reconvene the protests or to enter the city again with immediately putting up roadblocks and immediately calling out the up level of staffing we’ve maintained through the week, and we’ll retain into next week should the need arise,” Kanellakos said.
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