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Premier declares a state of emergency to end blockades

Premier declares a state of emergency to end blockades

Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency in order to obtain special powers to go after the truck blockade participants. The new powers include fines of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to a year. The premier also said violators could face the loss of both their personal drivers license as well as their trucking license. Meanwhile An Ontario Superior Court justice will hear an application today for an injunction that would stop  protesters from blocking the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor.

The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association applied for the injunction, and the City of Windsor was granted intervenor status. The judge adjourned proceedings yesterday, in order to give defendants a chance to respond. The matter will resume hearing later today. As that was unfolding the protesters re-opened one Canada-bound lane of the Ambassador Bridge.

Ford said he will convene cabinet and “use legal authorities to urgently enact orders” that will protect international border crossings, as well as the 400-series highways, airports, bridges, ports and railways in the province. The emergency declaration will be temporary but Ford said he would introduce legislation soon that would give police permanent powers in emergencies such as the brocade. In the early days of both the Ottawa and Windsor blockades it appeared at times law enforcement was paralyzed over issues of jurisdiction. Last weekend Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly was chastised by members of his police services board for suggesting that he needed legal advice in order to move in to dismantle the Parliament Hill blockade.

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