Freedom Convoy to cost city $37M, says updated estimate

·2 min read
A truck parked in front of Parliament Hill has one of its front wheels removed during the convoy protest in February. (Lars Hagberg/Reuters - image credit)
A truck parked in front of Parliament Hill has one of its front wheels removed during the convoy protest in February. (Lars Hagberg/Reuters - image credit)

The cost of the Freedom Convoy is now expected to cost the City of Ottawa in the range of $37 million, according to an updated estimate from city officials, who are also having a tough time tracking down payment for thousands of parking violations linked to the weeks-long protest.

Downtown city streets were deadlocked for several weeks as thousands converged around Parliament Hill to protest, from pandemic-related mandates to general disdain for the federal government. Police were eventually able to successfully remove protesters and tow trucks and other vehicles clogging key downtown arteries.

A new city report, which will be presented to the community and protective services committee on June 16, states local taxpayers would be on the hook for about $310,000 in towing costs for 110 vehicles.

The city spent upwards of $400,000 but have only recovered about $80,000 from those who own the vehicles.

The report also said local bylaw officers issued 3,812 tickets for parking violations during the convoy protest totalling a value of $320,545. So far, only 42 per cent of the tickets have been paid, though.

According to the city, there were also 318 provincial offence notices issued for violations ranging from use of a sound reproduction device on a highway to causing/permitting unusual noise that disturb residents to an unlicensed mobile refreshment vehicle, as well as failing to comply with COVID-19 public health orders.

The total value of those notices is tough to estimate, the city says, since each ticket has a different set fine amount.

The city says it is difficult to estimate the total value of these tickets because each one has a different set fine amount. Among those notices, the report said fewer than one third have been paid.

Some of the fines have been voided or withdrawn, while others are being challenged and will go to trial, the city added.

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