Activists get Ottawa City Hall ban after disrupting city budget meeting

Robin Browne, right, and Bailey Gauthier, centre, were escorted from the Ottawa city council meeting on Wednesday after they interrupted proceedings and refused to leave. (Frédéric Pepin/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Ottawa city council's 2023 budget meeting was disrupted early in the proceedings by protesters unhappy with increases in the police budget.

About 20 minutes after the meeting started, a handful of protesters walked into the council horseshoe, encouraging councillors to vote against the Ottawa Police Services budget, which calls for an additional $15.2 million this year.

Robin Browne and Bailey Gauthier — who both advocate for changes to police funding and are frequent speakers at police services board meetings — refused to adhere to requests from security personnel to leave the council chambers.

Four police officers eventually escorted the two activists off the premises, and the meeting resumed.

The exchange between the protesters and police was peaceful. Browne and Gauthier have been banned from Ottawa City Hall for a year.