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Tipsheet

Ontario Premier Declares State of Emergency Over 'Fringe Minority,' Announces How Protesters Will Be Punished

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese

Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on Friday after truckers protesting vaccine mandates have blockaded the busiest border bridge to the U.S. for days and refuse to leave.

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During a news conference, Ford said drivers will be fined up to $100,000 and face a year in jail. Additionally, those who defy the new order will have their personal or commercial driver’s licenses revoked.

The protesters agreed just before Ford’s comments to open one lane of traffic that exits the bridge, CBC News reported Friday. The decision also came before an Ontario court will hear an injunction seeking to end the blockade.

Protesters have also been blocking the border crossing at Coutts, Alberta, for a week and a half, and more than 400 trucks have been in downtown Ottawa, Canada’s capital, in a protest that began late last month, according to the Associated Press.

The protests have drawn the attention of the White House in recent days, as the blockade has caused parts shortages for some companies, most notably automakers. General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda Motor, Toyota Motor and Stellantis have all had to cut or limit production shifts due to parts shortages caused by the protesters.

Ford’s comments come a day after the Biden administration urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government Thursday to use its federal powers to end the truck blockade, according to the Associated Press. (CNBC)

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“There will be consequences for these actions, and they will be severe,” Ford said Friday. "Make no mistake. This is a pivotal moment for our nation. The eyes of the world are upon us right now and what they are seeing is not who we are. It’s not what Canada is about. This is not how we try to change things here in Canada. We do it through the ballot box.”

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