(OTTAWA) Closed to vehicular traffic since the “Freedom Convoy,” Wellington Street in front of the parliament building will reopen Friday afternoon. The City of Ottawa’s decision goes against the wishes of the federal government.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek sent a letter to Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe earlier this month asking that the 500-metre stretch that encompasses the Prime Minister’s office and major parliamentary buildings remains closed to vehicles.
The City is responsible for this artery, but the government believes that it should be returned to it for security reasons. During the “freedom convoy” in February 2022, hundreds of trucks had blocked this street and a large portion of the city center of the capital for three weeks, before being dislodged during a vast police operation. It had since remained closed to vehicular traffic.
The reopening of Wellington Street had been in the works for a few weeks. City crews had reinstalled the traffic lights, removed after the City decided to close that portion of Wellington until further notice.
The City of Ottawa has announced that it will install a temporary bike path there. Many elected officials and groups of citizens would have preferred to make it a pedestrian area.