Judge grants injunction against honking in downtown Ottawa
Posted February 7, 2022 8:57 am.
Last Updated February 7, 2022 5:51 pm.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean has granted a 10-day injunction to prevent truckers parked on city streets in downtown Ottawa from honking their horns incessantly.
McLean says the injunction is temporary because he needs to hear more evidence, but has heard enough to make this ruling today.
Paul Champ, a lawyer representing Ottawa residents in a proposed multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit, had argued the loud and prolonged honking is causing irreparable harm.
Keith Wilson, representing three of the respondents in the case, had told McLean the ruling on the injunction would carry national importance.
Some of the trucks at the rally have reportedly been equipped with train horns.
“Just imagine the sound of a train, but someone laying on that horn for minutes — if not more — at a time, repeatedly over the course of a day and into the night,” says lawyer Emilie Taman to CityNews.
“We’re not talking about little beeps from car horns.”
A lawyer representing the organizers of the trucker protest argued that their voices have been largely ignored by the government and they deserve the right to peacefully protest.
“People are tired of being ignored by the indifferent elite,” says Jay Cameron. “The lack of meaningful democracy means citizens have no voice regarding health mandates.”
Ottawa’s mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency on Sunday saying there is a serious threat to the safety and security of residents. Watson hopes the declaration will give the city more flexibility to deal with the ongoing protest.
The ongoing rally that has taken over the city’s downtown is entering its 11th day on Monday.
Ottawa police are expected to provide updates on arrests and raids related to the protest on Monday. Police say they made seven arrests and issued 100 tickets on Sunday alone.
Six of the arrests were for mischief and one was for driving while prohibited. Two of the arrests happened during the raid of a makeshift supply storage depot on Sunday night where officers seized fuel and vehicles from the demonstrators.
Police say there have also been more than 100 highway traffic act and provincial offence notices issued — including for excessive horn honking, having the wrong class of license, and for alcohol-related offences. Ottawa police have launched more than 60 criminal investigations related to the protests.
The city’s police force has received its share of criticism from residents who have levelled complaints that they have not done enough to mitigate the disruptiveness of the rally.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones issued a statement on Sunday stressing that politicians do not have the authority to direct police action and the controlling of the demonstrations is the responsibility of law enforcement.
Police services, including the Ottawa Police Service, have full discretion and extensive existing legislative authority under the Criminal Code to respond to and manage demonstrations and take enforcement action, as appropriate, against any individuals committing crimes in their jurisdiction,” Jones continued.