Traffic is moving once again at the Alberta and BC borders with the U.S. as protest blockades have been dismantled. The blockade in Manitoba is expected to be cleared tomorrow.
The blockade at the international border crossing at Coutts, Alta., was cleared today after two weeks of protesters blocking international traffic and demanding an end to vaccination mandates. The clearing of the border followed yesterday’s pre-dawn police raid, which seized weapons, ammunition and body armour in three of the trailers involved in the protest. Two tactical vests seized had badges on them, which the Canadian Anti-Hate Network said have links to antisemitic groups.
Police have arrested 13 people, 11 of them from the initial raid. Most of the accused face charges for possessing a weapon and three face an additional charge of conspiracy to murder.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said $48 million in trade was lost each day that the Coutts border remained blocked.
Traffic is also moving again at the Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey, B.C., which had been blocked since Saturday.
Meanwhile, the RCMP reports that protestors blockading the Highway 75 border crossing in Emerson, Man., for nearly a week are expected to cleared by tomorrow.
“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,” Chief Supt. Rob Hill with the Manitoba RCMP said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.
About $73 million in trade was impacted every day the border remained blockaded in Emerson, according to Freeland.
Emerson will be the last border choke point to be opened after Canada’s largest border crossing with the U.S., Windsor, Ont.’s Ambassador Bridge, was reopened Sunday. The six-day occupation of the bridge by truckers and their allies, disrupted supply chains and snarled production in automotive plants on both sides of the border. The estimated cost to the country is $3 billion.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted the federal Emergencies Act for the first time since the act was put into law back in 1988, giving the federal government broad powers to handle the protests. The largest protest remaining to be dealt with is the occupation of downtown Ottawa by hundreds of truckers and their rigs along with supporters, now in its third week.