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Ottawa group linked to Freedom Convoy embroiled in eviction controversy at former church 'embassy'

Residents of Ottawa protested the presence of TUPOC in their communities and saw this as an opportunity for convoy supporters to set up permanent outposts.

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The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

Laura Osman

William Komer, a director with The United People of Canada, stands outside the former Ottawa church that the group now refers to as an embassy.
William Komer, Director of The United Peoples of Canada, Standing outside the Old Ottawa Church, which the group now calls "The Church". embassy. Photo by Ashley Fraser/Postmedia/File

Ottawa — An Ottawa-based group suspected of ties to the Freedom Convoy It is ready to take its cause to court in an attempt to set up headquarters in the country's capital, demanding eviction Wednesday, which it says has been threatened.

The United Peoples of Canada (TUPOC) moved into a deconsecrated church in downtown Ottawa this summer as part of a conditional offer to purchase space. rice field.

The heritage building is now covered with a large red flag emblazoned with the group's logo. A tree with her 13 maple leaves that symbolize states and territories.

The group calls the building the 'Embassy' and describes itself as a 'diverse intergenerational fraternity'.

TUPOC board member William Comer said members called the police on Wednesday night after landlord agents showed up and tried to evict them from the building but failed.

A bailiff made his second attempt to change the church's locks on Thursday, but was again dismissed and police called.

"From our perspective, we still legally occupy the building," Comer said in an interview Thursday. is that we are victims of discrimination.”

The landlord accused the group of delinquent rent payments worth $10,000, made alterations to historic buildings without permission, and claimed insurance. They accused me of not presenting proof.

  1. 'Freedom Convoy' organizer Tamara Lich is hugged by supporters as she leaves the courthouse after being released from jail on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 in Ottawa.

    Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Rich was released on bail by an Ontario court.

  2. Tamara Lich, organizer for a protest convoy by truckers and supporters demanding an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, delivers a statement during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.

    Andrew Lawton: Freedom Convoy "Who's in charge here?" Issue

Police said they were called in to keep the peace during a dispute between the landlord and the building's tenants.

Eviction attempts have followed weeks of conflict between members of the group and their neighbors. Locals have protested TUPOC's continued presence in the community and see this as an opportunity for convoy supporters to set up a permanent outpost in Ottawa.

The church is a few minutes' walk from the Houses of Parliament, and last winter he spent three weeks on a large drilling rig and Located not far from where other trucks clogged the streets. Trudeau government.

Although the group claims to have nothing to do with the protest movement, some members of the board have ties to the 'Freedom Convoy' movement.

Mr. Comer said the group had a private security stationed around the building, and that police had "appropriate action" to investigate evictions and allegations of vandalism and illegal protests against the group. He said he was prepared to take legal action if he did not.

Diane Nolan, who also sits on the board, spoke about the group's mission in the community in a 20-minute Facebook video on Thursday, though the group's exact purpose remains unclear.


She also spoke repeatedly of motorcade protests.

"The whole world needs to know that this event has changed hearts and minds, because guess where we are now. We are in rebellion," she said. said in the video.

"We need to get together and start talking about a larger gathering. We're not talking about convoys. It's about rebellion."

107} The United People of Canada (TUPOC) spokesperson Diane Nolan speaks outside of the former church the group calls an embassy on August 18, 2022.
Canadian National Union (TUPOC) spokesperson Diane Nolan Group will call the Embassy on 18 August 2022. Photo credit: Errol McGihon/Postmedia

The group's website also facilitates community conversation sessions about the fleet. Sponsored by his website, which offers "community-based research" on injuries associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

When news of the eviction attempt spread online, several known convoy participants announced they would assist the group and travel to Ottawa. Tyson "Freedom George" Billings, who pleaded guilty to counseling pranks during winter protests in June, also encouraged fellow supporters to head to church to prevent eviction.

Attempts to evict them have left the group's future in the church space unknown. United People of Canada has placed conditional officers on the building, but there is now an active real estate listing for the building online.

Several community groups circulated petitions to stop the sale of buildings to TUPOC, claiming that TUPOC "does not have the best interests of the community in mind."

Comer said lawyers for the group are in talks and are considering Ontario's allegations of human rights violations against the landlord.

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