Canada truckers warned US border blockade could stop emergency services: ‘It must end’

‘If participants in this convoy cross the line and break the law, I expect police to take appropriate action’

Arpan Rai
Monday 31 January 2022 16:21
Comments
Throngs of Canadians protest vaccine mandates in Ottawa
Leer en Español

Alberta premier Jason Kenney has said the blockade at the Canada-US border crossing could “dangerously” disrupt movement of emergency service vehicles, demanding that the mass vehicle build-up choking the route be ended immediately.

“The current blockade of Highway 4 at the Coutts border crossing violates the Alberta Traffic Safety Act. It is causing significant inconvenience for lawful motorists, and could dangerously impede the movement of emergency service vehicles. This blockage must end immediately,” Mr Kenney said in a statement.

He urged the truck convoy protestors to not create road hazards “which could lead to accidents or unsafe conditions for other drivers” while safely engaging in their democratic to lawfully protest.

“If participants in this convoy cross the line and break the law, I expect police to take appropriate action,” the premier said, issuing a warning.

Underlining the police’s federal responsibilities, Mr Kenney said that Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act allows police and prosecutors “additional penalties to levy as a tool to address blockades of highways and other infrastructure when and where they deem appropriate.”

A trail of stranded truckers and motorists trying to cross or reach the United States from Alberta is lining up at the border as Canada witnesses a protest by anti-vaxxers against vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns.

Hundreds are stuck in the vehicle blockade running from the highway from south of Lethbridge, Alta to the border crossing in the village of Coutts since Saturday, reported Ottawa’s CTV news.

The protests were primarily aimed against vaccine mandates for truck drivers crossing the US-Canada border crossing, but spiralled into a protest against larger Covid restrictions and the Canadian federal administration.

Scott Ocelak, one of the convoy protesters, said the demonstration was the spark they needed.

"Everyone’s united and we just needed a spark, and this is the spark that we needed. We’re all on board and we’re all here together. It’s end all mandates for everybody," he said, sitting in his truck.

The “Freedom Convoy” is protesting against the mandate by Justin Trudeau-led administration which requires all the truckers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated against Covid. The mandate kicked into effect on 15 January.

However, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has said that a good share of protestors have a separate agenda to push as many of them did not have any ties to the trucking industry. A majority of the alliance’s truck drivers are vaccinated, the alliance pointed out.

Former US president Donald Trump also backed the protestors and said that the protestors are "doing more to defend American freedom than our own leaders by far."

"We want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way," he said in Texas on Saturday.

However, many trapped in the cross border situation feel helpless and frustrated with the sudden halt to their work despite being vaccinated against the virus.

“The protest makes no sense at all. Came back here and parked with a lot of other truckers who are all vaccinated and ready to head south and do our jobs,” David May said, reported CTV news.

In the profession for 15 years, May is stuck at the border with a load of meat he picked up for delivery in Portland, Oregon.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in