Andrea Horwath MPP, Hamilton-Centre

Government of Ontario

Horwath and Harden call on Ford to replace lost income during Ottawa siege

Published on February 2, 2022

QUEEN'S PARK AND OTTAWA — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden are calling on Doug Ford to replace the wages lost by workers and provide support to local business affected by the occupation of Ottawa.

Dozens of businesses have been closed for six days, and some will be forced to stay closed for days ahead. Thousands of workers have lost a week’s pay, so far.

“Ottawa workers are paying a price for this siege, and we cannot abandon them," said Horwath. "Thousands of people aren’t going to get a paycheque this week because their workplaces were shuttered. Some local businesses already on their knees after two years of the pandemic have lost an entire week’s worth of businesses.

“New Democrats are calling on Doug Ford to replace wages lost by workers as a result of the occupations in Ottawa, and to support small businesses that were forced to close a result of the convoy blockades in Ottawa.”

The Rideau Centre mall is now closed until Feb 6, impacting about 3,000 workers. According to the Spark Street BIA, only four of its 40 member businesses have been able to stay open.

"The people of Ottawa have had enough," said Harden. "On top of the constant noise, the violence of having swastikas and Confederate flags marched through our streets, and the desecration of our treasured sites, thousands of people have had their shifts cancelled and paycheques slashed.

“We have gotten no help from the Doug Ford government. What we need is action to put a stop to this, and urgent financial help so that working people and our local businesses don’t suffer any more for this occupation in our city. We are resilient, and we will outlast this convoy, but we need the province to step up and help.”