In a startling escalation of the conflict between Kingston and the former Pittsburgh township, forces were deployed to the downtown region under the pretense of protecting infrastructure crucial to the east-end residents.
Originally combined in 1998 by the amalgamation of the City of Kingston, recent unrest has come from the residents of the former township who feel that they are not seeing benefit from the merger, while taxation rates increase dramatically. More recently the relationship began to deteriorate as calls were made for separation and petitions were circulated. Those factions calling for dissolution were labelled as separatists and their concerns dismissed to satellite discussions outside of formalized parliamentary procedure.
It is believed that the Pittsburgh residents waited until the warmer spring weather reduced road conditions, meaning that a response from the city would be delayed. First to be secured were the LaSalle Causeway bridge and Wolfe Island ferry docks, crucial transportation infrastructure from which they could base their operation. From there they expanded northwest along the major highway, and southward toward city hall.
While there has been no conflict or military action, the show of force is being condemned unilaterally by surrounding townships and districts. The mayor tweeted that he was “caught off guard” by the deployment and questioned if this was “for real”.
Currently the Pittsburgh faction maintains that it is only maintaining the needs of their citizens, and does not intend outright action against the city, however unofficial channels have been opened with Amherstview and the former Kingston township, with assumptions that they will seek to control the airport and rail lines to further tighten their control of the city.
Tensions are high on both sides of the conflict, as thousands are now caught in the centre of the conflict without means to escape or avoid unless they abandon their lives as they know it. Many are just waiting to see if this will be a brief skirmish in municipal politics, or if it is the symptom of a much larger conflict which could be ignited by any small spark.