A state of emergency has been declared in Ontario after the Biden administration urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to use its federal powers to end the Freedom Convoy demonstrations blockading key border crossings to protest Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday declared a 42-hour state of emergency, threatening vehicle seizures, fines of C$100,000 ($79,000), jail time of up to a year, and suspension of commercial licenses to punish protesters who do not comply with orders to disperse.
‘This is a pivotal moment for our nation. The eyes of the world upon us right now, and what they are seeing is not who we are, this is not what Canada is about,’ said Ford at a briefing. ‘As a province, as a nation, we must collectively draw a line.’
‘We cannot have people occupying cities, holding them hostage, holding millions and millions of people hostage,’ he said. ‘To the occupiers: please, go home.’
Following Ford’s announcement, there were multiple reports that police forces from around Canada were pouring into Windsor, Ontario ahead of a possible operation to clear the blockaded Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor with Detroit.
Separately, the mayor of Windsor asked for an injunction Friday afternoon to try to break up the bridge blockade, as parts shortages caused by the protest forced General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Honda to close US auto plants or cancel shifts.
With pressure mounting, protesters claimed they were reopening a single lane entering Canada on the bridge, as a purported show of good faith. However, Windsor police said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the bridge remained totally blocked, adding that ‘negotiations remain ongoing with the goal of a peaceful resolution.’
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Source: Daily Mail