Zexi Li receives city award but will not return with criticism of ‘Freedom Convoy’ response

The publicity of a multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit against protesters with the so-called Freedom Convoy, which helped secure an injunction to silence their relentless fuss, has received an award from the city.

In remarks to reporters after accepting the bourgeois honor on Wednesday, Zexi Li said the award, which comes with laughter and handshakes, will not absolve her criticism of Ottawa’s response to the week-long crisis.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset ward Coun. Catherine McKenney presented Li the mayor’s city builder award on Wednesday during a city council meeting.

The civic honor recognizes a person or group who show an “extraordinary commitment” to making Ottawa a better place – from inspiring charitable work to uniquely friendly acts.

Zexi Li receives the city’s award for his efforts to restore calm during convoy protests

Ottawa resident Zexi Li, who helped secure an injunction against Freedom Convoy protesters, received the mayor’s city builder award in recognition of her efforts to help downtown residents affected by the occupation. 1:11

‘An incredibly difficult month’

Li, 21, was honored for acting as chief prosecutor in attorney Paul Champs’ now $ 306 million class action lawsuit along with other residents, businesses and employees whose lives and livelihoods were affected by the occupation.

Truck drivers rolled into downtown Ottawa around Parliament Hill on January 29 and occupied the area illegally for weeks until police from across the country finally cleared the streets in a massive operation that began on February 17 and lasted several days.

“It was an incredibly difficult February for Ottawa as a whole, whether you were a resident who was directly affected or whether you were someone who was responsible for dealing with all this mess,” Li told the council in a short speech. moments after Watson handed her the award.

“But in the end, we were able to get through this terrible situation, and even though there are laggards here and there who continue their relentless harassment, I think Ottawa as a city will move forward and come out stronger in all. this.”

Li will hold the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Hall on Wednesday. (Giacomo Panico / CBC)

‘Uhm, ahs and apologies’

When he spoke to reporters after receiving the award, Li’s remarks were more pointed.

She said she was personally “consistently disappointed” with the city’s passivity and “um, ahs and apologies, really, for why they did nothing.”

“I am a private citizen with the perspective of a private citizen, and I do not necessarily understand or recognize all the intricacies of the policies at stake here,” she admitted. “But in the end, politicians are meant to serve society and help us, and when that was not done, it speaks louder than any justification ever could.”

Li also acknowledged becoming part of the “political puzzle, political game” by accepting the award, but that she “does not necessarily hide any of my thoughts.”

“I would love to be proven wrong, because I, like many other people, would love to have more trust in our institutions, but that trust is sadly absolutely broken. And regardless of smiles and congratulations … the reality of the situation still exists below, ” she said.

The self-proclaimed “introvert” also did not rule out even going into politics one day, saying “it’s a door I’ve opened, but I do not necessarily know if I want to step through it.”

Leave a Comment