Ottawa Bylaw prepared to crack down on violations during ‘Rolling Thunder’ event

Ottawa Bylaw will be out in force this weekend to enforce the city’s rules during the “Rolling Thunder” bike convoy event.

“The City of Ottawa is providing support to ensure the Rolling Thunder event, scheduled from Friday, April 29 to Saturday, April 30, exercises respect to the community, while they exercise their democratic right to conduct a rally, demonstration or protest. This includes enforcement of all by-laws regarding noise, litter, fireworks, parking and stopping,” a statement from the city says.

The city and Ottawa police faced a great deal of criticism for their actions, and their inaction, during the “Freedom Convoy” occupation. Bylaws were repeatedly violated despite tickets and injunctions, and it took three weeks—and the invocation of the federal Emergencies Act—to eventually remove the protesters.

The city indicated Tuesday there will be no opportunity for entrenchment in the downtown core this time. Vehicles violating the no-stopping zones will be ticketed and towed.

In addition to parking violations, Bylaw officers will ensure all bylaws are obeyed, including:

  • No unnecessary motor-vehicle or other noise, including speakers
  • No public urination and defecation
  • No open air fires
  • No littering
  • No lighting and discharging fireworks

The downtown “vehicle exclusion zone” prohibits motor vehicles involved in any event (rally, protest, demonstration) inside this zone. However, the roads are not closed. The city says residential and business traffic, as well as pedestrians, cyclists and public transit are permitted.

Officials warn the “Rolling Thunder” event may result in some temporary traffic delays.

There are no planned changes to OC Transpo service. The parking garage at City Hall will be closed from 5 p.m. Thursday until 7 a.m. Monday.

CN CYCLE FOR CHEO NOT EXPECTING INTERFERENCE WITH FUNDRAISER

CHEO says a planned fundraiser taking place this weekend is going ahead and they do not expect any trouble with the coming “Rolling Thunder” biker rally.

The CN Cycle for CHEO is taking place May 1, returning in-person for the first time since 2019. This coincides with the “Rolling Thunder” motorcycle rally schedule for April 29 to May 1, but officials with the CHEO Foundation say they don’t expect any trouble.

“We want to assure all of our participants that we have been working closely with the Ottawa Police Service and are grateful for their work to ensure the event goes ahead, uninterrupted and safely,” a statement says. “We do not believe that the rally will impact our event scheduled for Sunday, May 1st. We continue to be in contact with the police daily and will release any additional information that may impact the event.”

Still, organizers are asking anyone in town for the motorcycle rally avoid interfering with the fundraiser.

“We wish to inform everyone that this event is critically important in allowing CHEO to deliver vital care to children with cancer. We would respectfully ask that on May 1st, no one interfere with those who will be coming out to raise money and show support for these families, so we can ensure our participants and families a safe and happy event,” the CHEO Foundation said. “We are confident that no one would want to disrupt an event that supports children with cancer and their families.” 

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