FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA- A petition launched by Horizon Ottawa, with the support of the Lowertown Community Association, just two days ago on Wednesday of this week calling on the City of Ottawa to to support alternative local ownership of St. Brigid’s Church has collected over 2000 signatures.
The petition was launched earlier this week following weeks of concerns from Lowertown residents in regards to the organization that is currently occupying the property, the “United People of Canada.” The group, which has likely connections to this winter’s so-called “Freedom Convoy”, only incorporated as a non-profit in March, raising questions as to how they were able to raise $6 million so quickly to make an offer on the former church. They are currently in the process of attempting to acquire the property, having to meet a set of private conditions by mid-October.
“We believe that this clearly shows that our friends and neighbours in Lowertown support this property being put back into local ownership - and for it to be used to help the community” Said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “The current tenants of this building vying for its ownership have no local connections and have suspicious motives.”
Adding to the uneasiness residents already feel about the organization, The United People of Canada has since pledged to create a “private security force.” Though no details exist around it, many see it as another troubling development. Additionally, they also had a gathering last weekend that was hosted by an anti-vaccination group, where many supporters of the “Freedom Convoy” were said to have been present.
While the conditional offer has been made, options around things like expropriation and finding alternative local ownership still exist, though the timeline is tight for the City to take action.
“We will still be collecting signatures to put pressure on the city - there is still time for them to act on this” Said Hersh. “Recent developments and statements coming from ' The United People of Canada' have been troubling and will undoubtedly have a negative impact on those seeking an inclusive and safe neighbourhood free from the trauma caused by the Convoy’s occupation of our city.”
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