Canada Day protests and parties in Ottawa and a new entry in the race for mayor: Top five stories this week

Hundreds of people march down Bank Street in downtown Ottawa on Canada Day as part of a protest over COVID-19 mandates. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)

Parties and protests mark Canada Day in Ottawa, a mother and daughter killed in a south end home and a new entrant in the race for mayor.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the top five stories on our website this week.

Celebrations, protests take place on Canada Day in Ottawa

Thousands of people wearing red and white and waving Canadian flags packed downtown Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 155th birthday, while a protest marched around Centretown voicing opposition to COVID-19 mandates.

The main Canada Day events moved to LeBreton Flats and Place des Festivals Zibi in Gatineau due to construction on Parliament Hill. Crowds enjoyed musical acts, performances and fireworks.

Two kilometres away, hundreds of people marched through downtown Ottawa as part of the "March to Freedom", calling for the prime minister's resignation and chanting "Freedom."

Ottawa police and its policing partners maintained an enhanced presence around the parliamentary precinct and downtown Ottawa on Friday for the first in-person Canada Day events in three years due to the pandemic.  A motor vehicle control zone was set up to prohibit vehicles from parking or taking part in protests from entering the area near Parliament Hill.

"There won't be occupiers because all of our planning is established around ensuring that people do not occupy our streets," Ottawa police interim chief Steve Bell said earlier in the week. 

Between 8 a.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Saturday, 327 parking tickets had been issued in the motor vehicle control zone and 91 vehicles were towed.

Soldier protesting COVID-19 mandates completes march in Ottawa ahead of Canada Day

Canadian Forces veteran James Topp arrived at the National War Memorial on Thursday evening, completing a cross-country march to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Hundreds of people lined Ottawa streets to cheer on Topp as he completed the final leg of his March to Freedom, which began in Vancouver in February.

Conservative Party leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre and People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier spoke with Topp on the final leg of his journey. Poilievre marched with Topp for two kilometres along Baseline Road.

"I think that he is advocating freedom of choice. People should have the freedom to make their own decisions with their own bodies and that's why, I think, he's walked across the country and that's why I thought I would give him a greeting and give him a hearing and see if he has any thoughts to share with me," Poilieve said. 

Topp, a 28-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, was charged by the Department of National Defence after publicly speaking out against federal vaccine requirements while in uniform.  Topp was charged with two counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.

Police identify woman, teen killed at Ottawa home

A mother and her daughter were stabbed to death at an Alta Vista home this week.

Ottawa police say Anne-Marie Ready, 50, and Jasmine Ready, 15, died from stab wounds following an incident at a home on Anoka Street Monday night. Ready's 19-year-old daughter was seriously injured.

Anne-Marie Ready worked as a Trade Commissioner with Global Affairs Canada. Ready previously worked as a program analyst with the Embassy of Canada to Peru and as a senior development officer with the High Commission of Canada to Barbados.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is investigating the police-involved shooting death of a 21-year-old man while responding to the stabbing call.

The SIU says when officers arrived on the scene; they saw a man stabbing a woman on the road.

"When the man did not heed orders to drop the knife, three officers discharged their firearms. The man was struck, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene," the SIU said in a statement.

Ottawa high school students petition to remove principal over alleged racism

Students at Hillcrest High School in Ottawa took part in a walkout after some students say they have been victims of racist treatment. Allegations of racism have been swirling at the school for months and now the Ottawa Carleton District School Board is investigating the incidents.

"It’s clear to students that they’re not getting the same treatment as their white peers," Mae Mason, an Asilu Collective Board Member, said. 

Asilu Collective is a community organization that seeks to end a program that puts police officers in schools; they also run an anonymous reporting tool and say numerous black and racialized students have submitted statements to them alleging racist behaviour by staff at Hillcrest High School.

Multiple students, who asked not to be named, told CTV News the situation has worsened since the arrival of a new principal in February.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says they are aware of the petitions and taking the allegations seriously.

Ottawa broadcaster, entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe running for mayor

Entrepreneur, broadcaster and author Mark Sutcliffe entered the race for mayor of Ottawa this week.

"I am excited and grateful today as I officially register as a candidate to be the next mayor of Ottawa – the best city in Canada, and a place I’m proud to call my hometown," Sutcliffe said. "Ottawa has always been considered a great place to live and work. But we are on the verge of some new and significant challenges. Our city is in an affordability crisis. Inflation is on the rise, and there is significant fear that a recession is just around the corner. We are facing a reliability crisis in our public transit system, and we need to improve our roads. On these issues and more, we need new leadership in Ottawa."

Sutcliffe's platform includes keeping taxes, recreation fees, and other costs, "as low as possible."

There are now nine candidates running for mayor of Ottawa: Brandon Bay, Bob Chiarelli, Bernard Couchman, Graham MacDonald, Catherine McKenney, Ade Olumide, Param Singh, Sutcliffe and Mike Maguire.

The municipal election is set for Oct. 24.