Protesters build wooden structure in downtown Ottawa

There are signs that “Freedom Convoy” protesters are settling into the long run in downtown Ottawa, building a permanent structure and filling up with gasoline and propane.

CTV News reporters who visited Confederation Park on Thursday afternoon saw protesters build a wooden structure that has been described on social media as a communal kitchen. A fenced area contained dozens of fuel tanks and propane tanks that were stored.

Vehicles and campers have been parked in Confederation Park since last weekend.

Confederation Park, next to the Rideau Canal Skateway, is the property of the National Capital Commission. The park on the corner of Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue is five blocks from Parliament Hill, where hundreds of people have been protesting against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health measures since last Friday.

“NCC is aware of this situation,” NCC said in a statement on Twitter, in response to photos posted by CTV News reporter Annie Bergeron-Oliver.

“We are working with Ottawa Police to seek help to secure the site. We can confirm that the containers have been removed from the site.”

However, a CTV News reporter on the scene confirmed that there were still propane and gas tanks in the park just before noon.

City of Ottawa officials were unaware of the setup in Confederation Park when contacted by CTV News Ottawa.

On Tuesday, Algonquins from Pikwakanagan, Algonuin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg issued a statement saying they do not support the truckers’ convoy and Confederation Park setup at Algonquin Nation Lands / Territory.

Last Friday, the council was told that the city had arranged for 15 portable toilet facilities to be installed on Queen Elizabeth Driveway during the Laurier Avenue West crossing next to Confederation Park.

Featuring files from CTV News Annie Bergeron Oliver and Mackenzie Gray

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