Biden Backs Trudeau in Response to Trucker Convoy: Grim New Measures Against Truckers Unveiled
A spinoff of the Freedom Convoy is now being targeted by the administrations of President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Freedom Convoy — which began in Canada last month as a protest against vaccine mandates impacting truckers and has broadened into a massive anti-government protest across the country — on Monday expanded its protest beyond Ottawa to block the Canadian side of the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Biden now wants the Canadian government to use all of its powers to end the protests, according to the Daily Mail.
The blockade at the Ambassador Bridge on Friday entered its fifth day, disrupting the flow of products between Canada and the United States and threatening to halt production at many auto plants in the U.S.
The White House issued a statement saying Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg “each spoke with their Canadian counterparts, urging them to use Federal powers to resolve this situation at our joint border,” according to Reuters.
Trudeau’s office said that after speaking with local authorities and members of the opposition party, there is a willingness to “respond with whatever it takes” to end the blockades, according to The Associated Press.
Drew Dilkens, the mayor of Windsor, said his city is seeking law enforcement help.
“Those officers are coming into town as we speak, and if the protesters don’t leave, there will have to be a path forward. If that means physically removing them, that means physically removing them, and we’re prepared to do that,” Dilkens said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the province of Ontario moved to cut off the financial lifeline of the protest by securing a court order blocking the crowd-funding site GiveSendGo from dispensing the money it has raised to support the Freedom Convoy, according to Global News.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the bridge blockade must be broken, according to The Washington Post.
“It is imperative that Canadian local, provincial and national governments de-escalate this economic blockade,” she said Thursday in a statement. “They must take all necessary and appropriate steps to immediately and safely reopen traffic so we can continue growing our economy, supporting good-paying jobs and lowering costs for families.”
Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Royal Canadian Mounted Police are going to Windsor as well as Coutts, Alberta, where another border blockade is taking place.
But even as authorities try to stop one protest, another flares.
On Thursday, police were dealing with a protest in Emerson, Manitoba, across the border from Pembina, North Dakota, according to the Grand Forks Herald.
“A demonstration involving a large number of vehicles & farm equipment is blocking the Emerson Port of Entry,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Manitoba said. “No traffic is getting through either northbound or southbound. The Port of Entry is shut down.”
In Ottawa, police are cracking down with tickets and arrests. Police have written 1,775 tickets to protesting truckers and made 25 arrests, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
“You can’t arrest your way out of the choices that people are making,” Roberta McKale, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police superintendent in Alberta, said Wednesday, according to CBC. “The best thing is for them to make the decision to leave. And they’ve got to go.”
But asking has not worked, she noted.
“We’re going to have to use our enforcement options in order to have that happen,” McKale said.
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