Students want to tame their Panda Game celebrations if they need the custom to proceed past this 12 months, says town councillor for Sandy Hill.
Following final fall’s soccer win by the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees over the Carleton Ravens, hundreds of individuals descended on that space close to the profitable campus.
Revellers flipped a automobile, seven individuals ended up in hospital, whereas eight others confronted expenses starting from mischief to rioting to collaborating in an illegal meeting.
That form of mayhem cannot occur once more, stated Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury. If it does, the 53rd Panda Game on Oct. 1 at Lansdowne Park might be one of many final.
“It’s a reality that the policing cost and the reputational cost for both the city and the universities … are putting this tradition in jeopardy,” he stated.
“The game’s going ahead this year but it doesn’t mean it will be seen again next year.”
Mayor Jim Watson stated he plans to attend. He hopes individuals benefit from the sport then go away in peace and had robust phrases for anybody who will get violent.
“The message to students is clear: Don’t be an idiot. Enjoy the football game, have fun … but also respect the neighbourhood you live in,” stated Watson.
“The bottom line is if the thing goes completely out of whack and there’s destruction and damage and injury to people, obviously we have to step back and take a look — is this going to continue?”
Police could have ‘zero tolerance’
Ottawa police have stated on-line and by going door-to-door that they will have “zero tolerance” for disruptive events and have cautioned individuals to count on a heavy police presence within the ByWard Market, Sandy Hill and Old Ottawa South.
Last 12 months, the festivities had been calm at first and numerous police had been in Sandy Hill throughout the day, however officers had to be redeployed round 8 p.m. after Russell Avenue was overrun by partygoers.
Louise Lapointe, president of Action Sandy Hill, stated the Panda Game is a part of what makes Ottawa town it’s and will proceed.
The group is not towards having enjoyable, she stated, however the “excessive party and riots” of final 12 months are “totally uncool.”
WATCH | Some of what occurred after the 2021 sport:
Police investigating Panda Game partygoers who flipped, broken automobile
Thousands of individuals descended on the Sandy Hill space in Ottawa following the annual Panda Game soccer match on Saturday. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says he’s ‘upset and disgusted’ by the chaos that ensued.
The group has been working with officials since final 12 months to construct on the successes of a tailgate occasion at an area and to transfer different occasions out of residential areas to stop what occurred in 2021 from taking place once more.
If it does occur once more, there may be penalties, Lapointe warned.
“I think nobody wants to see Panda cancelled, ever, but unfortunately that is a risk if the behaviour doesn’t change.”
Student union needs to ‘shield the Panda’
The University of Ottawa Students’ Union is targeted on making an attempt to “protect the Panda,” in accordance to scholar life commissioner Erin Atkinson.
It plans to put up posters and ship emails reminding students to have enjoyable whereas respecting the broader group.
All in a Day9:19How the University of Ottawa Students’ Union is getting ready for the Panda Game
We speak to Student Life Commissioner Erin Atkinson about how the University of Ottawa Students’ Union is working to guarantee there are not any disturbances after the Panda Game subsequent week
Atkinson stated she hopes town and police may also “stay reasonable” when it comes to enforcement.
“I think if we work together and we are both respectful on both sides it will go so smoothly,” she added.
The partying after final 12 months’s fixture prompted Fleury to recommend cancelling the 2022 Panda Game. The councillor now says followers will determine whether or not the occasion will proceed.
“If there’s no future Panda, it’s going to be on the shoulders of students’ decisions.”
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