Without any evidence, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said during a Monday council meeting that a weekend arson attempt at an apartment building in the city “clearly demonstrates the malicious intent” of the truckers’ convoy on Parliament Hill.
Police have only begun to investigate the matter and have provided no evidence to suggest the suspects were involved with the freedom convoy protests.
“Yesterday we learned of a horrific story that clearly demonstrates the malicious intent of the protesters occupying our city,” said Watson.
“On Sunday morning, two young men entered the lobby of the building on Lisgar St. where they proceeded to light fire starter bricks near the elevators before taping up the door handles so residents would struggle to get out during a fire.”
Photos of the attempted arson were first posted by Twitter user Matias Munoz who claimed to have been shown the security footage by the building’s manager. According to Munoz the police were not called until the next morning.
The fire was reportedly put out by a bystander who forced his way into the building to extinguish it.
“For anyone wondering how I got the footage, the building manager is a cool dude and let us see it. Police were called once the fire remnants were noticed in the morning and they are investigating,” tweeted Munoz.
Munoz also alleged that the event was a “blatant reprisal by protesters” but then backtracked on the comment.
“To be clear, the protesters created the unsafe conditions under which this event was allowed to transpire. I’m not saying it was a big burly trucker. I think it’s a bad actor related to the protests who wants to hurt people. It started with the swastika on day 1. Period,” tweeted Munoz.
According to the Ottawa Police Service arson unit, no further details about the incident are being provided.
A statement on the matter made no mention of connections to the ongoing protests.
Watson declared a local state of emergency on Sunday. The same day, Ottawa Police began to confiscate fuel from the convoy’s distribution hubs, warning that anyone who provided the protesters with “material supports” would be subject to arrest.
The Freedom Convoy in Ottawa entered its 16th day on Monday.