News ID: 99907
Publish Date : 11 February 2022 - 22:30

Protesters Blockading Major Canada-U.S. Border

OTTAWA (Dispatches) - Protesters in semi-trailer trucks, farm equipment and other vehicles who have blocked all highway lanes at Manitoba’s main Canada-U.S. border crossing since Thursday morning have begun letting livestock and medical vehicles through.
About 50 vehicles, which also include snowplows and construction machinery, have blocked off both northbound and southbound lanes on Highway 75, RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Paul Manaigre told CBC News.
The police have begun discussions with the organizer of the blockade, but so far no tickets have been issued nor charges laid.
“People have to understand, you have to use patience,” Manaigre said.
The protest is part of a number of demonstrations in cities and at border crossings across Canada by people against pandemic restrictions and a federal vaccine mandate for truckers.
The protesters began blockading the border crossing around midnight.
Traffic is being re-routed through the border crossing at Gretna, where commercial truck drivers are not being made to redo their customs paperwork.
When Cory Tarrant arrived at the border around 7 a.m. Thursday, he said there were about 30 other trucks trying to get across.
Tarrant, who owns a trucking company in Dauphin, said he loses about $2,000 every day the border remains closed.
CBC News has been in contact with organizers of the blockade, but they declined a formal interview. They told the CBC they were advising truck drivers of alternative border crossings to avoid major disruption.
Police are trying to get a sense of what the protesters want, Manaigre said.

U.S. Urges Canada to Use
Federal Powers

The Biden administration urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government Thursday to use its federal powers to end the truck blockade by Canadians protesting the country’s COVID-19 restrictions, as the bumper-to-bumper demonstration forced auto plants on both sides of the border to shut down or scale back production.
The White House said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with their Canadian counterparts and urged them to help resolve the standoff.
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Royal Canadian Mounted Police reinforcements are being sent to Windsor, Ottawa and Coutts, Alberta where another border blockade is happening.
In the U.S., authorities braced for the possibility of similar truck-borne protests inspired by the Canadians, and authorities in Paris and Belgium banned road blockades to head off disruptions there, too.