Canada truckers live: US border crossing at standstill as protest now ‘something Biden can’t ignore’



Aerial footage shows heavily congested Ambassador Bridge as truck convoy jams US-Canada border

Ottawa remains in a state of emergency as protesters in trucks opposed to Covid-19 restrictions continue to paralyze the center of the Canadian capital.

Hundreds of truckers have remained on the streets for 12 days. Residents are furious at the disruption and have successfully had an injunction granted banning the use of truck air horns.

Mayor Jim Watson has asked the federal government to double the size of the police force to address what he called “an aggressive and hateful occupation of our neighbourhoods”.

The “freedom convoy” has attracted support from many US Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.”

In an address on Monday, the prime minister called protestors “a few people shouting and waving swastikas” adding that does not define who Canadians are. Flags incorporating the Nazi symbol were seen in the initial days of the protest.

Separately, the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit was blocked by trucks in both directions late on Monday and remains at a standstill.

It is a crucial commercial link between the US and Canada and given the impact on the supply chain is considered a problem that the Biden administration can no longer ignore.

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‘This isn’t something the Biden administration can ignore’

CNN reporter Paula Newton, speaking from Ottawa on the ongoing protest in Canada’s capital and the standstill on the busiest crossing between the US and Canada, says that the “Freedom Convoy” is not something the Biden administration can ignore.

More than a quarter of cross-border trade between the US and Canada crosses the bridge – approximately $100bn of trade annually.

The Trudeau government in Ottawa is framing the protest as the actions of a fringe group, but there is no clear path to end the crisis given the lack of any will to negotiate with the truckers by officials.

“At this point, they are saying that, look, this is a fringe minority. And yet people here say that is not the case, that there is a significant minority,” said Ms Newton.

“Kate, I will tell you this isn’t something the Biden administration can ignore, especially given those bridge crossings. There could be impacts on the supply chain between the United States and Canada.”

Oliver O’Connell9 February 2022 03:45

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21-year-old silences trucker protest honking in downtown Ottawa

A 21-year-old resident of Ottawa’s Centretown is being hailed for her role in silencing the constant blaring and honking of truck horns by the protest convoy.

Zexi Li is the lead plaintiff in a proposed C$9.8m class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of local residents after the noise had gone on for more than a week, terrorizing the community.

“This situation, quite frankly, really ruffled my feathers,” Ms Li told CTV Morning Live on Tuesday. “I really, really felt that no matter what, I had to do something.

Oliver O’Connell9 February 2022 02:45

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Trudeau demands end to trucker protest saying ‘people waving swastikas’ don’t represent Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded an end to the continuing protest by hundreds of truckers against Covid-19 restrictions that has paralyzed Ottawa for 12 days.

“People of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighbourhoods, don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner, or a confederate flag, or the insults and jeers just because they’ re wearing a mask. That’s not who Canadians are,” the prime minister said. “These pandemic restrictions are not forever.”

Oliver O’Connell9 February 2022 01:45

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Justin Trudeau urges Canadians to continue ‘listening to science’ to get through pandemic

Oliver O’Connell9 February 2022 00:55

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Lightbound to stay in Liberal caucus despite Trudeau disagreement

Quebec MP Joel Lightbound will stay in the Liberal caucus despite his disagreement with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the trucker protest and pandemic policies.

Earlier on Tuesday he said at a press conference that he believes those concerned about Covid-19 policies have “legitimate concerns” and that these should be addressed.

He thinks political leaders are “unwilling to adapt” and have failed at explaining to Canadians the rationale for continued public health measures that he thinks are impacting mental health, dividing families, and causing some to become unemployed through their decision to not get vaccinated.

Mr Lightbound wants a clear roadmap from federal and provincial governments showing how and when restrictions will be lifted.

The Liberal MP also condemned some of the behavior seen during the protests and added that he has also faced threats from “extreme right groups” during his time in office.

He agrees with the federal government’s position that it’s time for the truckers to move along, does not agree with what he sees as Mr Trudeau’s generalizations about the concerns of those taking part in the protests.

Mr Lightbound says he wants to remain a part of the Liberal Party and hopes that there is room for dissent and different opinions. He adds that he would support the government in a confidence vote.

Oliver O’Connell9 February 2022 00:35

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Group behind protest drops plan to replace Canadian government

Canada Unity, the group behind the truck convoy protest, has taken down its Memorandum of Understanding that outlined plans to replace Canada’s elected government.

It has come to the attention of Canada Unity that the Memorandum Of Understanding (herein referred to as MOU) does not reflect the spirit and intent of the Freedom Convoy Movement 2022

We represent the voice of many Canadians who desire to have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms upheld. We are everyday Canadians, not lawyers or politicians.

We are immediately withdrawing the MOU as we do not want any unintended interpretations to continue. Our sole desire with the MOU was to have a document where Canadians could peacefully express their displeasure with current C19 mandates, and express their desire to be free. Canada Unity does not support or encourage any acts which tarnish democratic values ​​held by Canadians.

To the over 320,000 original signatories of the MOU; we appreciate your support and will continue to peacefully demonstrate until the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is upheld.

This document was created with the sole purpose of bringing the government of Canada and all Canadian citizens into agreement; that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be upheld for all

Canada Unity firmly supports the constitution and democratic process. We remain committed to following lawful process and upholding freedom of choice.

Last night, organizers said they wanted to form a coalition with the opposition.

Oliver O’Connell8 February 2022 23:45

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In pictures: Standstill at Ambassador Bridge

Vehicles block the route leading from the Ambassador Bridge, linking Detroit and Windsor, as truckers and their supporters continue to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Oliver O’Connell8 February 2022 23:20

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Quebec phasing out most pandemic restrictions

Quebec will phase out most pandemic restrictions by mid-March, Premier François Legault announced on Tuesday.

“The population is fed up. I’m fed up. We’re all fed up,” he said. “But the reason we resisted [easing restrictions] until today was because there was too much risk.”

“Right now, we can take a calculated risk and finally turn the page.”

Capacity restrictions will be phased out, but mask and vaccine passport mandates will remain for now.

In December the province instituted a mass shutdown due to the Omicron variant.

Restrictions on household and restaurant gatherings will be lifted on Saturday. Sports matches, gyms and spas will be allowed from Monday.

On 21 February all retail businesses can open at full capacity and places of worship at 50 per cent capacity up to a maximum of 500 people.

On 28 February working from home will no longer be mandatory, large venues can reopen at 50 per cent capacity, and sports tournaments can restart.

Bars — which closed on 20 December — can reopen on 28 February at 50 per cent capacity, but singing and dancing are banned until 14 March at which point all capacity restrictions will also be lifted.

There is no timeline yet for lifting mask and vaccine passport rules.

Oliver O’Connell8 February 2022 22:50

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‘I’m pro-vaccine, but I’m anti-mandate’

Click on Detroit spoke with three truckers stuck in the jam to cross the border following the protest forming at the Ambassador Bridge between Michigan and Ontario.

  • “Can’t get upset,” said one of the truckers. “I’m not the only guy stuck out here. Fortunately, I do have a sleeper cabin. I feel bad for those drivers that don’t have that option.”
  • “It doesn’t make sense as they shouldn’t be blocking the borders or the roads,” said Canadian truck driver Nav Aulch.
  • “I’m triple vaccinated, and I’m pro-vaccine, but I’m anti-mandate,” said Paul Leland. “It’s time that the mandates are over. It’s time that the people travel freely across the border on both sides.” He added: “I can understand people fighting for certain rights, but this is not going to solve anything.”

Oliver O’Connell8 February 2022 22:23

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Local media reports show trucks backed up for thousands on alternate bridge

Local media in Michigan shows that on the US side of the Canadian border trucks are backing up for thousands having been diverted away from the Ambassador Bridge to the alternative Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.

Traffic began backing up on Monday afternoon leaving thousands of truckers stranded on Detroit roads with nowhere to go, Click on Detroit reports.

By Tuesday morning tailbacks extended to between five and seven miles.

Matt Moroun, the chairman of the Detroit International Bridge Company, gave the following statement:

“International commerce needs to resume. The Ambassador Bridge and the Moroun family sympathize with truck drivers and those caught up in this blockade. We recognize that truck drivers are essential workers that work hard to deliver necessities to all of us, and that the Canadian government has done a tremendous job with vaccine rates. The Ambassador Bridge has a solemn obligation to facilitate safe and efficient international trade and travel. We encourage the appropriate officials to take prompt action to alleviate the situation as quickly as possible in a manner that reflects mutual respect..”

Oliver O’Connell8 February 2022 22:10


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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