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Ontario, Canada leader Doug Ford declares state of emergency over trucker protests: LIVE UPDATES

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday declared a state of emergency in response to the ongoing Ambassador Bridge blockade and protests in Ottawa against coronavirus restrictions.


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Police distribute fliers warning protesters to disperse by midnight or face consequences

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Protesters continue to block Ambassador Bridge after 7pm deadline to disperse passes

A Canadian judge ruled Friday that protesters at the Ambassador Bridge over the U.S.-Canadian border must end the 5-day-old blockade that has disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries and forced the auto industry on both sides to roll back production.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court said during a virtual hearing that the order would be effective at 7 p.m. to give protesters time to leave.

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Trudeau: 'We've heard you, it's time to go home'

“If you join the protest because you’re tired of COVID, you now need to understand you are breaking laws," Trudeau said Friday. "You don’t want to end up losing your license, end up with a criminal record which will impact your job, your livelihood.”

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Ford, GM update production around Canadian trucker convoy

Automakers impacted by the ongoing bridge blockade by Canadian truckers protesting COVID-19 mandates in the country are getting creative to keep parts moving to their production facilities, with some reportedly using air transport as a workaround.

Industry and union sources told Reuters that Ford and other automakers have taken to moving products by air in order to keep operations moving.

Ford told FOX Business on Friday that they have teams "behind the scenes" that are "working on how to maximize production."

Click here to read more on Fox Business

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Windsor police release statement following judge's order to end blockade at border bridge

"The Windsor Police Service wants to make demonstrators clearly aware that it is a criminal offence to obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of property," the statement says. "The offence itself is known as mischief to property. The unlawful act of blocking streets at and near the Ambassador Bridge is resulting in people being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property and causing businesses to close down.

The statement continues, "We are providing notice that anyone blocking streets or assisting others in the blocking of streets may be committing a criminal offence and must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you may face charges. You could be arrested if you are a party to the offence or assisting others in the direct or indirect commission of this offence. Vehicles or other property related to an offence may be seized. Once a vehicle is seized, it may be detained and, following a conviction, possibly forfeited. Charges and/or convictions related to the unlawful activity associated with the demonstration may lead to denial in crossing the USA border."

A Canadian judge ruled Friday that protesters at the Ambassador Bridge over the U.S.-Canadian border must end the 5-day-old blockade that has disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries and forced the auto industry on both sides to roll back production.

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Canadian judge orders an end to blockade at border bridge

WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered protesters at the Ambassador Bridge over the U.S.-Canadian border to end the 5-day-old blockade that has disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries and forced the auto industry on both sides to roll back production.

It was not immediately clear when or if law enforcement officers would be sent in to remove the demonstrators, who parked their pickups and other vehicles in a protest against the country’s COVID-19 restrictions and an outpouring of fury toward Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court said during a virtual hearing that the order would be effective at 7 p.m. to give protesters time to leave.

Click here to read more from Associated Press

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

White House releases readout of President Biden's call with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau

"The two leaders agreed that the actions of the individuals who are obstructing travel and commerce between our two countries are having significant direct impacts on citizens’ lives and livelihoods," the White House said Friday. "The President expressed his concern that U.S. companies and workers are experiencing serious effects, including slowdowns in production, shortened work hours, and plant closures. The Prime Minister promised quick action in enforcing the law, and the President thanked him for the steps he and other Canadian authorities are taking to restore the open passage of bridges to the United States."

The statement added that Trudeau thanked Biden and U.S. officials for "all of the assistance that the United States is providing to resolve this disruption."

The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days to "ensure that the free flow of traffic is restored at these vital transit points."

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Freedom Convoy: What Canadian truckers demand as US protest set to start this weekend

The Canadian trucker "Freedom Convoy" continues to gain momentum, but as a splinter movement in the U.S. gains more support it is important to understand what exactly the protests demand. 

The "Convoy" claimed that its initial protest of 1,600 trucks swelled to 36,000 over the first week, though the Washington Post places the number closer to 8,000. The cause has drawn international attention and support, with a U.S. trucker protest possibly starting this weekend in Los Angeles around the Super Bowl, the Department of Homeland Security announced. 

In a statement posted to Facebook on Jan. 26, the Canadian truckers clearly stated their demands, which they tied to personal freedoms from government overreach: The truckers demanded in the letter that the Canadian government remove the vaccine mandates and to terminate any government-backed digital tracking platform such as the COVID-19 vaccine passport and contact tracing programs. 

Click here to read more on Fox News

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Doug Ford gets into testy exchange after photos show him snowmobiling during Ottawa protests

Ontario Premier Doug Ford got into a testy exchange with a reporter Friday after CTV News published photos purportedly showing the Canadian leader giving a thumbs up while snowmobiling in the Muskoka area -- more than four hours away from Ottawa -- as protests were ongoing in the Canadian capital last Saturday.

“You call it a ‘siege’, Ottawa police said it was an ‘insurrection’... can you explain why you decided to go snowmobiling during a stated insurrection and siege in Ottawa?” CTV News' Collin D'Mello asked Ford moments after the Ontario leader declared a state of emergency over the demonstrations.

“Let me make it very clear Colin, I’ve been on this phone almost 24/7 along with the premiers, U.S. ambassadors, the governor, the prime minister around the clock. Make no mistake I have been engaged from the second this has happened and I’ll be continuing being engaged with the authorities that we need to talk to," Ford responded.

“Fair enough but you are not dismissing what I’m saying here, I’m asking you premier were you snowmobiling on Saturday in cottage country while Ottawa was under ‘siege’ as you say?” D'Mello then asked.

“I was at the cottage. I went out on my snowmobile," Ford then admitted. "I take calls until 1 o’clock in the morning. I get calls before 6 o’clock in the morning and I will not stop until we get this taken care of.” 

Posted by Greg Norman

'We're not backing down': Canadian truckers share message to Trudeau

OTTAWA, Ontario – Canadian truckers protesting in Ottawa want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to know they will not leave until mandates are lifted, they told Fox News.

"We're not caving in, we're not moving, we're not backing down," Canadian trucker Joshua Singh told Fox News.

Truckers have been protesting in Ottawa for over two weeks as part of the "Freedom Convoy," calling for an end to the government's COVID-19 mandates. Trudeau demanded the "illegal blockades and occupations" stop, and Ontario declared a state of emergency Friday morning.

"Just know that every trucker out here, we're willing to go to jail, we're willing to lose our trucks," Singh told Fox News. "Nothing is going to stop us from accomplishing what we came here to do."

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

Canada to announce changes in coronavirus border rules next week, reports say

Canada Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos revealed Friday that the federal government will announce changes next week to coronavirus measures being taken at the border, as the trucker protests continue.

The official reportedly said "the worst of Omicron is behind us."

Posted by Greg Norman

Doug Ford: Protesting truckers could lose their licenses

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday that truckers could lose their licenses if they don’t comply with orders being enacted under a newly-announced state of emergency aimed at breaking up the demonstrations. 

“We will... provide additional authority to consider taking away the personal and commercial licenses of anyone who doesn’t comply with these orders,” he said as the Ambassador Bridge blockade is in the midst of its fifth straight day. 

“While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law,” he added. “We are taking these steps necessary to support our police as they do what it takes to restore law and order.” 

Posted by Greg Norman

Ontario leader Doug Ford declares state of emergency over trucker protests

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday declared a state of emergency in response to the ongoing Ambassador Bridge blockade and protests in Ottawa against coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking at a news conference, Ford said he will "convene Cabinet to use legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede 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," he continued, adding that "fines for non-compliance will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment."

Ford earlier said "this virus forced us to make unthinkable sacrifices. And I know that this has been extremely difficult watching businesses close, livelihoods lost, freedoms restricted.

"None of this has been easy. People are frustrated, they are scared, they are angry and I know these frustrations have reached a boiling point for many Canadians," he continued. "The result is what we are now seeing in various cities across our province and our country.” 

“My message to those still in Ottawa, to those at our border crossings, please go home," he added.

Posted by Greg Norman

Toyota expects 'disruptions through the weekend' as Ambassador Bridge remains blockaded

In a statement to Fox News, automaker Toyota says "due to a number of supply chain, severe weather and COVID related challenges, Toyota continues to face shortages affecting production at our North American plants.

"Our teams are closely monitoring the situation and working diligently to minimize the impact on production," the statement continued. 

"Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia have recently been impacted by issues related to the Ambassador Bridge blockade," it added. "We expect disruptions through the weekend, and we’ll continue to make adjustments as needed."

Posted by Fox News

Supporters of Canadian protesters to converge at New York's Peace Bridge this weekend

Local and out-of town demonstrators are set to converge this weekend in New York near the Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo to Ontario, Canada, to show support for Canadian truckers protesting their country's coronavirus restrictions.

"This is bigger than masks or vaccinations," Penny Fay, who is organizing a "Convoy to Save America" departing from Nashville early Saturday, told the Buffalo News. "It's about trying to control you and taking away your freedoms."

The newspaper reports that rallies are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday at Pat Sole Park near the Peace Bridge, but organizers say they have no intentions to disrupt or block any traffic flow on the crossing.

A separate group is set to leave New York City for Buffalo on Friday to join a "slow roll" of vehicles scheduled for Saturday in Buffalo, the newspaper also reported.

"We're tired of the government dictating our lives," Marcella Picone, a local activist, told the Buffalo News. "So we will have these groups jumping on the truckers' cause and to say we think we can manage our own affairs."

New York State Police say they are aware of the demonstations and will respond accordingly.

"We have been in touch with our federal and local partners, will monitor the situation, and are prepared to deploy whatever resources are necessary to ensure public safety," state police said in a statement to WGRZ. 

Posted by Greg Norman

White House wants Canada to use federal powers to end trucker protests

The Biden administration is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to use its federal powers to end the truck blockade by Canadians protesting the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Fox News

General Motors chartering cargo planes to get around Ambassador Bridge blockade, report says

General Motors reportedly is chartering cargo planes to fly parts over Canada's border into the U.S. as the Ambassador Bridge blockade continues.

The parts are being sent to GM's Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Indiana where the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks are made, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing a union official there.

"We're not going disclose or confirm the specifics of what we're doing, but we have and will continue to explore all the options available to keep our regular production schedules intact," GM spokesperson Dan Flores told the newspaper.

He added that "during challenging circumstances, GM does explore the option of using charter flights to get parts to plants, but because of competitive reasons GM will not confirm or offer details of using cargo planes at this time."

Posted by Greg Norman

An Ontario court on Thursday froze access to the millions of dollars in the GiveSendGo account of the Freedom Convoy 2022, which drew a swift rebuke from the fundraising website.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office said in a statement that the province's attorney general brought an application in the Superior Court of Justice for an order "prohibiting any person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with, in any manner whatsoever, any and all monetary donations made through the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaign pages on the GiveSendGo online fundraising platform."

"This afternoon, the order was issued. It binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations,” Ford's office added.

The website slammed the order in a Twitter post late Thursday: "Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign."

Truckers have blocked the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, for days, snarling traffic on the busiest artery along the U.S.-Canada border in protest of the country's vaccine mandates.

The convoy had previously raised more than $10 million with GoFundMe until the platform shut it down and refunded the money at the request of the Canadian government.

The GiveSendGo account had raised $8.4 million as of Thursday. -- Jon Brown, Edmund DeMarche

Posted by Edmund DeMarche

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