Ontario Is Going Into A State Of Emergency Due To The Ongoing Trucker Convoy Protests
The Ford government just declared a state of emergency for Ontario so that it can put an end to the trucker convoy protests.
Emergency measures are in place for the province effective immediately, Premier Doug Ford announced in a press conference on Friday.
"We are now two weeks into the siege of the City of Ottawa. I call it a siege because that's what it is. It's an illegal occupation. This is no longer a protest. With protest, you peacefully make your point and you go back home," Ford said.
Ford then addressed the "very small groups" of protesters who haven't peacefully protested, saying their right to protest doesn't outweigh the rights of those living in Ottawa.
"To those who have attempted to disrupt our way of life by targeting our lifeline for food, fuel and goods across our borders... to those trying to force a political agenda through disruption, intimidation, and chaos," Ford said.
With the state of emergency, Ford said he will work with his cabinet to use legal authorities to enact orders that'll make it "crystal clear" it's illegal "to impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure."
This means border crossings, airports, 400-series highways, ports, bridges and railways will be protected by the government as well as the movement of emergency services, pedestrian walkways and public transit.
Anyone who doesn't comply could get hit with a "severe" fine.
Earlier this week, Ford lambasted the protests clogging up the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-U.S. border in Windsor.
"The damage this is causing to our economy, to people's jobs and their livelihoods is totally unacceptable. We cannot let this continue," Ford said in a statement on February 9.
Ford also condemned the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa and said that he cannot tolerate the desecration of any memorial (like the Terry Fox statue and the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.)
The premier also shared that he was "extremely disturbed" by the symbols of hate seen during the protests, like the waving of Nazi and Confederate flags.
The Freedom Convoy in Ottawa has been protesting for the end of COVID-19 mandates and lockdown measures since January 29, and since then, several other similar protests have popped up across the province and the country.
During Friday's announcement, Ford revealed that the province is "on track" to remove some public health measures, which could include the use of vaccine passports.