Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Statement on the "freedom convoy"

Published on January 30, 2022

Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre released the following statement in response to the actions of the "freedom convoy" participants in our city over the weekend: 

“Politics is about persuasion, and the convoy isn’t persuading anyone now. 

You are disrupting downtown Ottawa residents, not the Prime Minister. You are keeping kids, seniors, and families awake at night. 

Convoy folks have entered workplaces unmasked, urging others “to be free” by taking their masks off. The Omicron variant is killing people, notably people with disabilities. Their lives and freedoms matter as much as yours. 

That’s why I’m asking you to leave. I am asking this on behalf of residents who believe in the right to protest, but not the right to make others unsafe. 

Two days ago I called for our community to understand why this convoy was happening. Hate and violence flourishes when folks feel ignored, so I urged us to understand the roots of the issue and why protestors are here.

That’s not been easy. It has been hard to see symbols of hate in our city. It’s been brutal to see the Terry Fox monument and the National War Memorial treated with callous disrespect. Those who attempted to get meals from the Shepherds of Good Hope disgraced themselves and others.

Ottawa residents have listened to you. So please listen to us, and leave.”