OTTAWA’S DOWNTOWN PROTESTS AND THE EFFECT ON THE COMMUNITY
Residents in the City of Ottawa have undoubtedly been impacted by the recent protests and demonstrations organized by truckers in downtown Ottawa. Particularly, people living and working in the downtown core this past week have been experiencing increased anxiety, fear, and disruptions to their daily lives due to the near-constant high noise levels and the intimidating presence of demonstrators on the streets. While protesting is an important part of our democratic society, it’s imperative that we emphasize the negative impact that the ongoing activity has on the health and wellbeing of people living and working in the area.
Ottawa has a vibrant community of businesses downtown as well as organizations that provide supportive services for our most vulnerable neighbours. Over the last week, Shepherds of Good Hope, Cornerstone Housing for Women, and Youth Services Bureau experienced significant disruptions to their services. Staff and members of their communities have also been experiencing harassment, fear, and trauma. For a full understanding of their experiences, we encourage you to read their statements:
Causeway stands in support and solidarity with organizations, businesses, and people feeling the effects of the ongoing protests. No person should be denied life-saving services because of the demonstrations and no person should be made to feel unsafe at work. We recognize that many of the people we serve at Causeway rely on the services provided by these organizations in order to continue their journey to meaningful employment. Businesses also play an important role in our clients’ employment journeys and many of these businesses that have had to close have already been struggling throughout the pandemic. Some of the ways that we can show our support include donating to affected organizations, purchasing from affected businesses, and amplifying their voices.
If you are experiencing distress or require additional resources, we encourage you to reach out to these services:
It’s important that we all recognize that many of us are experiencing different challenges to our mental health. Be kind to each other and be there for each other, always.