One of the leaders of the anti-vaxxer occupation in Canada’s national capital thanks the management of the Holiday Inn in downtown Ottawa for allowing him to establish a home base where protesters can take showers warm and restock.
Holiday Inn management will not comment on videos showing large groups of unmasked protesters lounging in the hotel lobby, but hotel staff said PressProgress the hotel plans to continue to accommodate protesters who shut down Ottawa for several days — including if more return next weekend.
Over the weekend, Pat King, one of the lead convoy organizers, broadcast live video telling protesters they could go to the Holiday Inn Downtown Ottawa on Queen Street where they could find hot showers and free meals.
“Truckers, whoever is out there, you have showers at the Holiday Inn at 402 Queen Street,” King says in the live video.
“I have four rooms here that are set up for truckers who need showers.”
In another live video, King reiterates his open invitation to protesters to come to the Holiday Inn for a shower, stressing that “the rooms are available, the receptionists know that.”
King also gave a special “shout out” to the Holiday Inn for hosting the convoy protesters.
“I want to say hello to the Holiday Inn, the Holiday Inn in downtown Ottawa, 402 Queen Street,” King said in the live stream. “You are the bomb.”
“You tolerated everyone there, we controlled that room very peacefully, we held that ground the whole time, and we worked you side by side.”
“Thank you very much Holiday Inn.”
The leader of the anti-vax convoy even gave the Holiday Inn Downtown Ottawa a five-star recommendation:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want everyone to go to the Holiday Inn at 402 Queen Street, type in Google’s internet button machine and send them all the love you can. These guys have done phenomenal things They did the most phenomenal job I have ever seen done in my life, they work hard, they deliver and they are understaffed and overbooked so good job.
In another live stream from the Holiday Inn lobby, King shows viewers 15 or more protesters hanging out in a lounge next to the hotel reception without masks or social distancing.
“I have about 15 truckers who feed, I’ve bought them burgers, or we’ve bought them burgers, and showers are available if they want them at the hotel,” King says, at one point. coughing openly.
Peter Wilson, general manager of the Holiday Inn Downtown Ottawa, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from PressProgress.
IHG Hotels, the parent company of Holiday Inn, also did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The City of Ottawa said it is “reviewing” videos of unmasked protesters gathering in the lobby of the Holiday Inn, but noted that violations of public health rules normally handled by city bylaw are passed on to the Ottawa police during the protest.
“Service requests relating to the event are being redirected to the OPS, including complaints relating to provincial regulations,” said Roger Chapman, Director of By-Law and Regulatory Services for the City of Ottawa. PressProgress.
“BLRS continues to respond to service requests related to municipal and provincial regulations that are unrelated to the current protest. »
Holiday Inn staff said PressProgress that while it is “understandable” that guests might have concerns about the safety of sharing a hotel with unmasked convoy protesters, they confirmed that the hotel allows them to book rooms – including if the protesters plan to return to the capital next weekend.
“Our property allows guests to check into our premises if they are vaccinated,” Holiday Inn staff said. “If they are not fully vaccinated, they will use a mask throughout the facility.”
Holiday Inn staff said they did not know how many protesters were currently staying at their hotel, explaining that they were not monitoring guests, but noted that it was possible that protesters were renting rooms in bulk to people. reduced fares.
“We wouldn’t know if they’re actually a protester or not, because they make their reservations or they called to make their reservation under a block, they might not say they’re a protester, we don’t we won’t know.”
On Wednesday, Ottawa police said they received “intelligence” that anti-vax protesters will return in large numbers next weekend, saying the protest is evolving into a “long-term plan to occupy our streets.”
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said police believe the convoy received ‘a significant amount’ foreign funding from sources in the United States and suggested that the Canadian military might have to be deployed to help end the occupation.
The Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association, which represents 56 hotels in the National Capital Region, was unable to say whether it heard the concerns of its members or had any discussions about the use of area hotels to support occupation of Ottawa streets.
“It’s a fluid situation and because of that, we can’t comment on specific questions from the media,” OGHA President Steve Ball said. PressProgress.
“The OGHA is working with our affected members and the community at large.”
A few days earlier, Ball told CityNews that some of his members had reported an increase in bookings ahead of next weekend.
On Tuesday evening, the main entrance to the Holiday Inn Downtown Ottawa was surrounded by more than a dozen vehicles carrying signs, including those opposing vaccines and expressing support for Alberta separatism.
With files by Mitchell Thompson
Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.
Journalism is an important public service. that’s why PressProgress prioritizes stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.
Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can continue to have a positive impact for Canadians.
Support our journalism