Two blockades at the Canada-U.S. border have been dismantled, less than a day after the federal government introduced a series of new powers under the Emergencies Act. And a remaining blockade is expected to end Wednesday.
Operations have resumed at the border crossing at Coutts, Alta., as well as the Pacific Highway crossing in B.C., a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokeswoman confirmed to trucknews.com.
The last remaining border blockade, in Emerson, Man., was expected to be cleared Wednesday. It had been blocking Hwy. 75 since Feb. 10.
“We are now confident that a resolution has been reached and that demonstrators will soon be leaving the area and that full access to the Emerson Port of Entry will be restored,” Manitoba RCMP Chief Superintendent Rob Hill said in a statement. “The Manitoba RCMP is coordinating the departure of the remaining demonstrators and expects this will be completed by Wednesday.”
The Coutts border crossing typically handles $48 million in trade per day, while the Emerson border crossing supports $73 million in daily trade.
Arrests and seizures
The Coutts border blockade had been home to some of the longest-standing protests since the Freedom Convoy and other supporters began to occupy downtown Ottawa in the fight against pandemic-related restrictions.
That border protest began to emerge on Jan. 29, and at times allowed limited traffic to pass. But the situation began to deteriorate yesterday when 13 people were arrested.
Eleven of those arrests came when police seized multiple weapons and body armor. Two other arrests came when a northbound truck accelerated at an RCMP check stop north of Milk River, Alta., swerving at the last minute and hitting traffic cones.
Four of the arrests include charges of conspiracy to commit murder.
RCMP in Surrey also arrested four people for mischief on Sunday after a blockade began to disrupt the Pacific Highway border crossing in B.C. Another 12 arrests came Monday night.
“Over the weekend I was on scene to support policing operations and to assess the situation on Highway 15 firsthand. I understand the frustration of the public who wish to see this situation end,” said A/Commr. Brian Edwards, the officer in charge of Surrey RCMP, in a press release.
The Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., reopened late Sunday after a weeklong blockade. An Ontario Superior Court of Justice injunction against that protest was issued late Friday afternoon.
Windsor Police say they made 46 arrests during the blockade, 43 of which involved mischief over $5,000 and breaching a court order. Thirty-seven vehicles were also seized since the demonstrations began.
- This article has been updated to include information about the reopening of the Emerson border crossing and the nature of charges in Alberta.