FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE: Horizon Ottawa Calls for Judicial Inquiry Into Ottawa Police, Condemns Police Board Decision in Favour of AG Report
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa condemns the Police Board’s motion to opt for an Auditor General (AG) report instead of a judicial inquiry into the events that led to the Ottawa Occupation during most of February.
Police Board Chair and West-Carleton March Ward Councillor, Eli El-Chantiry, presented the motion that called for the AG report. The motion emphasized the “cost effectiveness” of an Auditor General report in comparison with other methods of investigation. New members Leiper and Henschel argued the AG “does not seem like the appropriate body for such a full-scale investigation.” Ultimately, the motion was carried with some amendments and was met with significant opposition from dozens of residents who showed up to speak against it.
“You cannot put a price on accountability, especially after the harassment thousands of downtown residents faced as a result of the police enabling the convoy occupiers,.” said Sam Hersh, a Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “This city is trying to once again evade accountability by going with an option that is notably less comprehensive than a judicial inquiry.”
At the end of last year, Councillor Glen Gower, at the behest of the Mayor’s office, tried to similarly push for an AG report instead of a judicial inquiry which was advocated by Somerset Ward Councillor, Catherine McKenney. It was explained to council that an AG report would be less sweeping than a judicial inquiry, particularly because members of Council could not be investigated and members of the public would have little to no opportunity to be involved in the process.
The motion for an Auditor General report is scheduled to go to council for a vote at the next council meeting on Wednesday, April 13th.
“Across our city, residents continue to face hardship because our supposed leaders continue to evade any responsibility.,” said Hersh. “Residents want real answers and they deserve real answers. They can only get those through a judicial inquiry, not a toothless AG report.”
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