Protesters build wooden structure in downtown Ottawa park

There are signs “Freedom Convoy” protesters are settling in for the long haul in downtown Ottawa, building a permanent structure and stocking up on gasoline and propane.

CTV News reporters visiting Confederation Park on Thursday afternoon saw protesters building a wooden structure, which has been described on social media as a community kitchen.  A fenced area contained dozens of fuel canisters and propane tanks being stored.

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

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

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

“We are working with Ottawa Police to seek assistance on securing the site. We can confirm that the canisters have been removed from the site.”

However, a CTV News reporter at the scene confirmed there were still propane and gas canisters in the park just before 6 p.m.

City of Ottawa officials were not aware of the set up in Confederation Park when contacted by CTV News Ottawa.

On Tuesday, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, the Algonuin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg released a statement saying it does not support the truckers convoy and the Confederation Park setup on the Algonquin Nation Lands/Territory.

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

With files from CTV News Annie Bergeron Oliver and Mackenzie Gray 

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