FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is calling on President of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association, Steve Ball, to take action in response to the harm caused by the “Freedom Convoy”. The Association must take concrete steps to mitigate the ongoing harassment of hotel workers and residents of downtown Ottawa.
Hotels across the city have been allowing “Freedom Convoy” protesters and leaders to stay in their facilities. Many of these protesters are unmasked and not following Ottawa Public Health guidelines which creates a dangerous environment for hotel workers and residents of downtown Ottawa.
“We are calling on the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association to issue a call for hotels to not book and to cancel reservations known to be affiliated with this occupation,” said Ellie Charters, a member of Horizon Ottawa. “Accepting guests affiliated with the convoy puts hotel staff and residents of Ottawa at risk, and, as seen by the closures of businesses such as the Rideau Centre, impacts the livelihood of a great number of Ottawa workers.”
Horizon Ottawa is aware of a video that is circulating featuring far-right convoy protest leader Pat King telling other protesters to join him at the Holiday Inn. This is particularly troubling when many of these hotels are used as shelter space, meaning that these disruptive individuals are taking up space from those who really and truly need it.
The largest hotel group in Ottawa, Marriott Hotels Canada, operates the Delta Ottawa City Centre and the Westin Ottawa—and encompasses franchisees Courtyard Ottawa Downtown, Sheraton Ottawa, and Ottawa Marriott. Its human rights policy states:
“Marriott International, Inc. acknowledges and respects the principles contained in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Marriott’s Human Rights Policy reflects the company’s commitment to conduct its business in a manner consistent with these principles and to respect human rights within the company’s sphere of influence. Marriott demonstrates global leadership in responsible workplace practices, and endeavors to conduct its business operations in a manner that respects human rights. The company’s core values and culture embody a commitment to ethical business practices and good corporate citizenship.”
“Accepting groups or reservations affiliated with the ongoing occupation and siege of downtown Ottawa appears to be in violation of this publicly stated policy,” said Charters. “If these hotels want to show their commitment to “good corporate citizenship” they will do what is right and cease doing business with those who have disrupted our city.”
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