As the Canadian government faces more pressure than ever to end the “Freedom Convoy,” a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit may be the answer (or at least what gets the ball rolling).
According to the Ottawa Citizen, dozens of Ottawa locals have signed on to support the lawsuit, which is now looking to collect at least $306 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges the convoy – which has been ongoing for three weeks – has caused irreparable disruption to the local people and businesses.
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The lawsuit continues to add more signatories. Most recently, it added a slew of restaurant owners and staff from the area, many of whom haven’t been able to work since the protest began.
Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ gave a press conference on Wednesday where he revealed 31 more defendants had been added to the class action. Champ also revealed that the injunction to silence the protesters’ car and truck horns had been successfully extended for another 30 days.
The full list of defendants hasn’t been released, but the class action will apply to everyone from the convoy’s organizers and donors to participants, City News reports.
For instance, it’s been confirmed that the lawsuit will extend to people who donated to the Freedom Convoy’s GoFundMe campaign after February 4th, which is when the fundraiser was cancelled after the platform found evidence of criminal activity in the protests.
The lawsuit will also name people who donated money to the convoy through GiveSendGo, a similar fundraising platform that aimed to raise money after the GoFundMe page was cancelled.
Champ added that private investigators are busy collecting information about the protestors and has been able to identify many people through license plates.
The convoy isn’t only costing the provincial and federal governments thousands in extra costs, including increased security and police presence. It’s also been economically devastating for local businesses.
In early February, it was reported that Rideau Centre – Ottawa’s busiest mall – lost $19.7 million in revenue after it had to shut its doors during the first week of protests. The number is likely much larger now considering how long the convoy has continued.
Similarly, Champ claims the convoy is costing the local area $15 million in lost revenue on a daily basis. “If you live, work or do business in this Zone, you will be a part of the class action,” he said.
It’s not necessary to register for the lawsuit, but individuals and businesses are encouraged to keep a record of their losses. For those with questions or who wish to share their story with Champ, they can email [email protected]
Sources: Ottawa Citizen, CTV News, City News,
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