Ontario Declares State Of Emergency Over Border Crossing Closures By Freedom Convoy [Updated]

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says if trucks don't leave, "There will be consequences, and they will be severe"

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WINDSOR, ON - February 10: Protestors and supporters set up at a blockade at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge, sealing off the flow of commercial traffic over the bridge into Canada from Detroit, on February 10, 2022 in Windsor, Canada. As a convoy of truckers and supporters continues to occupy Ottawas downtown, blockades and convoys have popped up around the country in support of the protest against Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.
WINDSOR, ON - February 10: Protestors and supporters set up at a blockade at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge, sealing off the flow of commercial traffic over the bridge into Canada from Detroit, on February 10, 2022 in Windsor, Canada. As a convoy of truckers and supporters continues to occupy Ottawas downtown, blockades and convoys have popped up around the country in support of the protest against Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.
Photo: Cole Burston/Getty Images (Getty Images)

The providence of Ontario declared a State of Emergency Friday morning in order to remove protesters from blocking the Ambassador Bridge, North America’s busiest border crossing.

Updated Monday, February 14, 2022 12:00 p.m. EST - The Ambassador bridge reopened late Sunday evening. It remains open this morning.

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Updated Saturday, February 12, 2022, 12:00 p.m. EST - Police began clearing the protest from the Ambassador Bridge at 8 a.m. Saturday. Protesters willingly broke down food tents and packed up supplies, CNN reports. At 11 a.m. Windsor police were still warning protesters that enforcement was still in effect. One vehicle was towed at the owner’s request due to a mechanical issue, but the clearing of the protest from the bridge has remained peaceful. Lanes entering Canada remain closed at this time.

Updated Friday, February 11, 2022 5:00 p.m. EST - A judge granted the city of Windsor and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association a court injunction which expands police powers to end the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge. The injunction will take affect at 7 p.m. Friday evening.

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Updated Friday, February 11, 2022 3:30 p.m EST - Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association are seeking an injunction to allow the city of Windsor to remove protesters from the Ambassador Bridge. Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been sent to Windsor as well as the Coutts, Alberta crossing and to Ottawa, according to the Toronto Star.

The announcement comes a day after the White House announced it was monitoring the situation, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called the closure “unacceptable.” From CBC:

At a press conference Friday, Ford said he will convene cabinet and “urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”

“This will include protecting international border crossings, 400-series highways, airports, ports, bridges and railways. It will also include protecting the safe and essential movement of ambulatory and medical services, public transit, municipal and provincial roadways, as well as pedestrian walkways,” Ford said.

“Fines for non-compliance will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment. We will also provide additional authority to consider taking away the personal and commercial licenses of anyone who doesn’t comply with these orders.”

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Protesters slowed traffic at Ottawa International Airport, the nation’s busiest this week and are blocking at least three border crossings. The city of Ottawa is still under siege as more than 400 semi trucks continue to clog the streets of the nation’s capital. The protest is entering its third weekend and neither the government of Ontario nor federal officials seem interested in caving to the protester’s demands.

“This is about a political statement. That’s what this is about,” Ford said, according to CBC. “To the occupiers: please, go home.”