United People of Canada

A Canadian not-for-profit embroiled in legal and community disputes over its controversial activities and associations.

The United People of Canada (TUPOC), based in London, Ontario, emerged as a not-for-profit organization with ambitions that quickly led to significant public and legal controversies. Initially, TUPOC aimed to purchase Saint Brigid’s Church in Ottawa’s Lower Town neighbourhood in July 2022. The organization’s activities, including the launch of its own private security force following vandalism and threats, sparked community backlash and legal challenges, culminating in an eviction notice for failing to meet financial and insurance obligations.

TUPOC’s connections to broader social and political movements, particularly those associated with a convoy protest, have further complicated its public image. Diane Nolan, a former director of TUPOC, and other volunteers and supporters, demonstrated strong ties to the convoy movement, highlighting a blend of social activism and community engagement that has polarized public opinion. The organization’s use of the church as a base for these activities, including events like open mic nights and gatherings, underscored its role as a hub for like-minded individuals.

Despite these efforts to foster a sense of community and activism, TUPOC faced significant opposition. An online petition and poster campaign, along with protests against their occupation of Saint Brigid’s Church, underscored the community’s resistance. Legal challenges also mounted, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling against TUPOC in September 2022 for breaching the sale agreement, leading to their eviction and a damages award to the church’s owners. The organization’s appeal was dismissed in June 2023, with judges citing numerous issues with TUPOC’s legal arguments.

Amid these disputes, some supporters and members of TUPOC have claimed discrimination due to their perceived ties to the convoy movement, arguing that their intentions and actions have been misunderstood or misrepresented. This contention reflects a broader debate about the nature of protest and activism in Canada, as well as the challenges faced by organizations like TUPOC in navigating legal, community, and ideological landscapes​​​​​​.

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