Ottawa reschedules Valentine’s Day after protests shut down city


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Ottawa reschedules Valentine's Day

Ottawa reschedules Valentine’s Day after protests shut down city

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The Ottawa City Council voted unanimously to “redo” Valentine’s Day on March 14 this year.

As other cities celebrated Love Day on February 14, downtown Ottawa, Canada, was occupied by protesters in hundreds of heavy trucks and other vehicles, as well as thousands of pedestrians. Under the banner of “Freedom Convoy”, organizers protest vaccine mandates and social restrictions related to curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Downtown restaurants and businesses that would normally benefit from Valentine’s Day were forced to close because of the protests — a blow as many are still dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic. The Rideau Centre, Ottawa’s busiest mall, lost nearly $20 million in the first week of protests alone, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

Some citizens said they were afraid to leave their homes if the convoy insisted. Resident Rhys McGraw described living under “constant intimidation and harassment,” according to CTV News. Cornerstone Housing for Women said in a statement that truck horns and noise caused so much distress to shelter residents that some women “committed themselves to the hospital due to increased trauma from the noise and fear.” .

Ottawa police eventually ended the convoy in a three-day operation that towed more than 70 vehicles, made 191 arrests and brought 389 charges against 103 of them.

Councilman Mathieu Fleury said in his Valentine’s Day redo motion that the profession “has a significant impact on residents’ mental health and well-being.” “Our heart-shaped city needs a little love,” he added.

The motion determines that city council and economic development staff will work with local businesses and Tourism Ottawa to promote local shopping, lodging and dining on the weekend of March 14 and before.

Councillor Keith Egli co-sponsored the motion, noting that a voter in his constituency had floated the idea of โ€‹โ€‹redoing Valentine’s Day in March.

Ottawa reschedules Valentine's DayThe Ottawa City Council voted unanimously to “redo” Valentine’s Day on March 14 this year. While other cities celebrated Love Day on February 14, downtown Ottawa was occupied by hundreds of heavy trucks and other vehicles. kasia2003/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Susan Murray, owner of Scrim’s Florist, is delighted with the news. “I think it’s great that the city considers small businesses and the impact that February 14 of last year could have on them,” she told CTV News.

At the very least, the rescheduled Valentine’s Day is giving lovers and haters of this holiday something ridiculous.

“Maybe call it #ValentinesDeux?” tweeted @shawndearn.

User @KristinRaworth was less supportive, joking: “Everyone: This year can’t be worse. City of Ottawa: How about two Valentine’s Day?”

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