Students, parents kicked out of City Hall
Group calling for safe crossing crashed event hosted by mayor, premier
A group of children and their parents protesting what they call a dangerous intersection were kicked out of an event at Ottawa City Hall Thursday morning right before Ontario's premier was expected to speak.
The group has been calling for a crosswalk at the intersection of Byron and Hilson Avenues in the city's west end.
Currently there is no crosswalk at that intersection, and children often jaywalk on their way to Hilson Avenue Public School.
Carrying signs demanding "a safer walk to school," about one dozen elementary-aged children and their parents crashed the Mayor's Breakfast before special guest Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne addressed the crowd.
'Gave them their first lesson in civic life,' says parent
"To teach them that you can just cross the road like this in a dangerous situation, that's not the lesson we want to drive into our kid's brains at this point," said protesting parent Ahmad Lutfi of teaching his nine and six-year-old children about how to safely walk to school.
"Today we gave them a first lesson in civic life, that if bureaucracy fails you, if the system lets you down, there are other venues you can follow and this is one of them," said Lutfi.
The premier said she hoped the students understood that traffic issues aren't a provincial matter, Lutfi said.
City argues crosswalk could be safety hazard
The City of Ottawa has told parents it could be even more dangerous to add a traffic signal so close to the existing traffic lights nearby at Byron and Kirkwood Avenues. The city argues drivers could potentially speed up to make a green signal, creating a safety hazard.
The protesters were kicked out for illegally carrying signs in City Hall.
They were allowed to return once they left their signs outside the building.