July 20th, 2024

Hate the long walk on Canada Day? Ottawa mayor, feds point fingers over transit plan

By The Canadian Press on June 20, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets people attending Canada Day celebrations at LeBreton Flats, Ottawa on July 1, 2023. People attending Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa can use public transit for free, but they won't be allowed to use the closest train station to the event. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – People attending Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa can use public transit for free, but they won’t be allowed to use the train station closest to the event.

The main stage is set up at LeBreton Flats, but light-rail transit users will be told to get off at Lyon Station, more than a kilometre away.

People with mobility challenges will be able to use the station closest to the events, but everyone else will be asked to walk.

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe blamed the federal government for that decision in a statement on social media, saying the city tried to propose alternatives.

Sutcliffe says the problem is that federal organizers don’t want large crowds of people walking on the Booth Street Bridge after getting off the LRT.

But Families Minister and Kanata – Carleton MP Jenna Sudds says a committee of mostly municipal and emergency response officials made the call – and she says the city should figure out a better solution for next year.

A similar plan was in place last year on July 1 to manage the large crowds heading to view fireworks and concerts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024.

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