A report submitted to Ottawa City Council says the municipality has no plans to try and recover an estimated $37 million in costs from Freedom Convoy organizers.
This is according to a formal question to city staff from Ottawa Councillor Riley Brockington.
“What were the final costs of policing during the convoy occupation and what is/are the legal plan(s) to recoup those funds in particular from convoy organizers and others?” Brockington asked in his inquiry.
“The costs of the occupation were borne by the Ottawa Police Service. As the federal government has undertaken to make the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service Board whole in this regard, there is no plan to try and recover those amounts from the convoy organizers, appreciating also that there is no legal authority in the municipality todo so,” city staff wrote in their reply.
City council is anticipating the Ottawa Police Service’s second quarter financial report in July. This report is expected to detail the full costs the police force incurred from its response to the January and February protest.
According to staff, boths the OPS and the city “will endeavour to recover (their) costs through the National Capital Extraordinary Policing Contract (NCEPCP) with Public Safety Canada.”
The NCEPCP is a contribution program meant to assist the capital city with its law enforcement costs given Ottawa’s “unique policing environment created by the presence of federal landmarks, institutions and events of national significance.”
It was first introduced following the Parliament Hill terrorist attack in 2014.
The staff report says police and bylaw officers issued 3,812 parking tickets and 318 provincial citations for things like traffic violations and excessive noise.
“(Tickets) were issued for offences such as traffic and by-law violations including violations such as use of sound reproduction device on a highway, encumbering a highway by vehicle or other means, causing/permitting unusual noise that disturb inhabitants of the City, an unlicensed mobile refreshment vehicle and failure to comply with Covid public health orders,” wrote staff.
Many of these tickets are being challenged.
Police removed 110 vehicles from the core when they moved in to disband the protest. Ninety-five percent of them have been claimed by their owners with the remaining still sitting in impound.