A Fake Jim Watson Just Crashed City Hall To Protest Ottawa’s Broken LRT
She carried a mini-train with a sign that said "Fix the LRT."
A local Ottawa woman has decided to get creative in order to catch the attention of Ottawa's Mayor, Jim Watson. Protesting the city’s LRT system, Velvet LeClair wore a huge Jim Watson-inspired mask to City Hall on Monday. Carrying a mini-train with a sign that read “Fix the LRT,” LeClair and a friend skated around the Rink of Dreams, before eventually approaching the Mayor.
Two Ottawa activists were approached by City Hall security on Monday, after publicly protesting the LRT by wearing a huge homemade Jim Watson mask.
LeClair began the protest by skating around the Sens Rink of Dreams, where the huge papier-mâché head was reportedly well-received.
According to Marnie Wellar, who was demonstrating alongside LeClair, the pair was skating for about 45 minutes before they spotted an opportunity to speak with the mayor himself.
Wellar told Narcity, “We lucked out and got ‘Giant Jim’ in the mayor’s photo op.”
The pair attempted to talk to Watson, but he “barrelled on past,” Wellar explained.
Wearing the mask, the duo followed him inside, where he eventually asked, "Who are you?!" to which LeClair replied, "I'm you! Fix the LRT!"
Shortly after, Wellar and LeClair were asked to remove the giant mask, as face coverings are not allowed on city property.
Additionally, they were told that the tiny LRT car that they were carrying was considered a sign, so it was also banned.
While the activists argued that their creations were “political protests,” they were still asked to remove them by staff.
In a statement to CBC News, the City said it "respects the right of residents to demonstrate on City Hall property."
They added, "For security reasons, staff have a long-standing practice to restrict signs and placards within City Hall."
Their protest comes as the city’s LRT continues to have operational issues, which have caused countless morning delays, serious overcrowding issues, and widespread shutdown since it launched last year.
It became so bad thatwas set up for anxious and overwhelmed passengers.
In the past, Mayor Watson has, tweeting last year that the whole system was an “awful experience.”
Since then, Watson has attempted to take a lighter-hearted approach, evenabout the LRT.
Wellar told Narcity that the duo intends to return to the Rink of Dreams on February 23, where they will have additional tiny LRT units for “transit supporters to skate with and have some fun.”
It’s not yet clear whether or not the “Giant Jim” mask will be joining them!