Ottawa’s face of the class-action lawsuit Zexi Li receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Zexi Li receives Ottawa City Builder award

OTTAWA, March 23, 2022 – She is Zexi Li and she is now well known in Ottawa as the woman who stopped the horns, but today she is the recipient of the Mayor’s City Builder Award presented by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney. Ottawa’s face of the class-action lawsuit, Li received the award in recognition of her exemplary action and her inspiring contributions to the community during the occupation of Ottawa by protesters.

Like many people in downtown neighbourhoods, Zexi Li felt growing frustration as residents were subjected to relentless honking, fireworks, and choking diesel fumes from the convoy of trucks clogging downtown streets. The occupation, which lasted more than three weeks, forced some businesses to close and disrupted the daily lives and wellbeing of residents.

Zexi Li wanted to do something to help people in her community who were suffering. She was introduced to Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ who now leads the legal team representing downtown residents in a class-action lawsuit against the self-proclaimed “Freedom Convoy” demonstrators.

Ottawa’s Zexi Li is presented with Mayor’s City Builder Award presented by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney on March 23, 2022

Zexi Li, a 21-year-old public servant, became a community spokesperson and the face of the class-action lawsuit filed on Friday, February 4 against some protesters. Her actions brought about an injunction that prohibited participants in the protest from using vehicle horns in the vicinity of downtown Ottawa.

After the first week of occupation that started on Thursday, January 27, Mr. Champ filed a $9.8 million class-action lawsuit on behalf of plaintiff Zexi Li against organizers of the protest. On Monday, February 7 an Ontario Superior Court Justice granted a 10-day injunction against horn honking in downtown Ottawa. A week later the City of Ottawa was granted an injunction, restraining protesters from setting unlawful fires, discharging fireworks, causing noise, or idling vehicles.

On Thursday, February 17, downtown restaurants joined the class-action lawsuit, raising its claim to $306 million in damages for the disruption to their lives and livelihoods by the drawn-out demonstration. The plaintiffs include the residents of downtown Ottawa, represented by Zexi Li, businesses, and employees who lost wages when businesses were forced to shut down due to the protest.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour, created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

The City of Ottawa says individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by Members of Council or the public.

SOURCE City of Ottawa

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