Hundreds of parking tickets remain unpaid following ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest in Ottawa

Hundreds of parking tickets issued in the so-called ‘Red Zone’ during the “Freedom Convoy” occupation in downtown Ottawa remain unpaid, 16 weeks after police moved in to end the protest.

Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services issued 3,812 parking tickets and 318 Provincial Offence Notices during the three and a half week protest in downtown Ottawa.

The parking tickets issued included violations for parking in no-stopping and no-parking areas, parking in special event areas and parking on private property, while the Provincial Offence Notices were issued for a range of violations including using a sound reproduction device, operating an unlicensed mobile refreshment vehicle and failing to comply with COVID-19 public health orders.

As of Monday, 90 Provincial Offence Notices and 1,600 parking tickets had been paid, according to a report for the Community and Protective Services Committee.

Staff say 15 Provincial Offence Notices and 300 parking tickets are going to trial, while 250 parking tickets have been withdrawn or voided.

“There are a little over 150 Provincial Offence Notices and over 1,200 parking tickets that remain outstanding,” the report says.

Staff say the value of the 3,812 parking tickets was $320,000.

A total of 110 vehicles were towed during the protest, with towing costs estimated at $389,500.  Staff say the majority of the vehicles were picked up from the tow yards, and $79,600 of the costs recovered.

The price tag for the police and city response to the occupation is now estimated at $37 million.  Staff are warning the protest could end up costing the city $10 million, accounting for transit revenue impacts, direct costs to support the occupation and economic recovery benefits offered by the city.

Both the Ottawa Police Service and the City of Ottawa are expected to outline final costs associated with the protest when financial status reports are released this summer.

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