We are reaching out to you all regarding the ongoing protest-turned-occupation in downtown Ottawa.
As many of you are aware, MHI operates five rental housing sites – one residence for formerly homeless veterans (Veterans’ House: the Andy Carswell Building), plus four communities for low-income families/individuals.
Our two smallest communities are located downtown within the area impacted by demonstration-related activities. However, our communities happen to be outside the radius of where the protests are intensely concentrated at the present time. MHI volunteers have reached out to our residents living at the two properties in question. The volunteers continue to be available to connect tenants to support services in the community as required, or lend a listening ear to residents who’d simply like someone to talk to. MHI’s housing department is available to support tenants over the phone as well.
Our heart goes out to everyone negatively impacted by the demonstrations. While we support Canadians’ right to demonstrate, we condemn all hateful, unlawful, and/or disrespectful activity that has taken place during the protests. MHI is a charity that works to end homelessness, including veterans’ homelessness. We are also an organization whose voting members are a coalition of 70+ Ottawa-area faith groups, including Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Unitarian congregations. As such, our organization specifically condemns the desecration of the National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the harassment of our sector partners the Shepherds of Good Hope, and the flying of Confederate flags and swastikas downtown. We also categorically condemn the white supremacist and Islamophobic comments made in the past by some members of the convoy leadership. The failure of convoy leaders to explicitly denounce and expel bigots from their own inner circle does little to inspire confidence that the ongoing occupation is exclusively about vaccine mandates.
To our supporters, especially those targeted by this harmful rhetoric: We are here for you, and we care.
We will keep you all updated on the situation from our vantage point as it unfolds.
MHI Executive Director