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Ontario invokes state of emergency in response to trucker protests

February 12, 2022 People's Journal 283 views

ONTARIO is immediately invoking a state of emergency in an attempt to end trucker convoy protests that have disrupted a vital border crossing in the province.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced the move as anti-mandate protesters have set up a blockade at the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit, which has caused significant traffic and trade disruptions.

“While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law. We are taking the steps necessary to support our police as they do what it takes to restore law and order,” Ford said at a press conference at Queen’s Park.

The state of emergency will make it illegal and punishable to block and stop 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.

Anyone who doesn’t comply, could face a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment.

Ford also said that the order provides law enforcement with additional authority to take away personal and commercial licenses of anyone who doesn’t comply.

The premier noted that the government does not direct police forces but sets the laws in the province.

“This (order) will not impede the rights of Ontarians to peacefully protest. It will provide additional tools to help stop the illegal occupation of Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor,” Ford said.

Crowds of semi-trailer trucks and pickup trucks have been stationed at the Windsor end of the border crossing since Monday, closing off both directions of a street that connects with the bridge.

The Ambassador Bridge is one of North America’s busiest international commercial border crossings.

The blockade is one of several demonstrations happening in the province and country over COVID-19 restrictions, including one in Ottawa that started two weeks ago.

Ford is calling the demonstrations an “illegal occupation” as some groups of protesters are trying to “force a political agenda through disruption, intimidation and chaos.”

He said that in Ottawa the protest has devolved into a “siege” and needs to end.

“My message to those still in Ottawa, to those at our border crossings, please go home. To those of you who have brought your children, please take them home. I urge you, it’s time to leave and it’s time to do so peacefully.”

Yesterday, the Ford government successfully petitioned a court to freeze access to millions of dollars donated through GiveSendGo for the protests.

The government obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice that prohibits anyone from distributing donations made through the website’s “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaign pages.

Meanwhile, an Ontario Superior Court justice granted an application for an injunction that would prevent protesters from blocking the Ambassador Bridge.

The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association applied for the injunction, and the City of Windsor was granted intervenor status. CP24