August 8, 2022

Review and News

Sydneysiders have fun Freedom Friday as making a song and dancing are allowed and QR codes dropped

Canadian truckers blockading the busiest crossing between their country and the United States in protest...

Canadian truckers blockading the busiest crossing between their country and the United States in protest at COVID-19 vaccine mandates could have their vehicles seized and face hefty fines under new plans being considered by the government of Ontario.
The Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, Michigan, carried over $327 million in goods a day and normally sees 8,000 trucks cross. It is the single busiest international land border crossing in North America, accommodating 27 percent of the approximately $400 billion in annual trade between Canada and the U.S.
Yet the bridge has, since Monday, been blocked by truck drivers who are angry at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s COVID vaccine mandates. The truckers have been in the city since the Freedom Convoy traveled to the nation’s capitol on January 23.
On Monday, the city introduced a ban on honking to tackle the protesters. 
On Thursday, local media reported that Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, had discussed with Trudeau bringing in a series of measures to end the blockade.
Ford could slap fines on the drivers, confiscate their vehicles, and suspend their commercial licenses, according to The Globe and Mail.

People erect a tent on the blocked Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario on Thursday. The protestors could now face reprisals

The empty Ambassador Bridge is pictured on Thursday, looking toward Canada. Usually, 8,000 trucks cross the bridge every day

Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, is expected to announce new measures against the protesters

Trudeau has told him that he will supply reinforced officials as soon as Ford requests them.
Ford has already begun taking on the truckers, going to court and winning the right to cut off more than $8.2 million fundraised to help their protests.
Ford’s spokesperson, Ivana Yelich, said the order prevents the use of ‘any and all monetary donations’ through crowdfunding sites.
He is believed to be planning on announcing the reprisals against the truckers as soon as Friday. 
Trudeau on Thursday night said that he had been in talks about how to end the protests, which began in mid January and have caused significant economic damage.
The drivers set out from British Columbia on January 23 for Ottawa, and staged a protest in the capital on January 29 before taking their demonstrations across the country. 
Over 85 percent of truck drivers, and 90 percent of all Canadian adults, are fully vaccinated and the protest has been condemned by the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

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Justin Trudeau is seen on Thursday addressing a question in parliament. He is battling to quell the protests against his vaccine mandate

‘This evening, I had several meetings that were focused on the illegal blockades and occupations happening across the country,’ Trudeau tweeted.
‘They’re harming the communities they’re taking place in – and they’re hurting jobs, businesses, and our country’s economy.’
Trudeau said he had held an Incident Response Group meeting with ministers and officials to discuss the crisis.
‘We’ll continue to work closely with municipal and provincial governments to end these blockades, and to make sure they have the resources they need,’ he said.
He said he had spoken to the mayor of Windsor, Drew Dilkens, to offer his support.
‘We’re committed to helping the Mayor and the province get the situation under control – because it is causing real harm to workers and economies on both sides of the border.’
And he spoke to leaders of the opposition, urging them to unite with him and call for an end to the protests.
‘Finally, I briefed the leaders of the opposition parties on the current situation and the latest developments.
‘I stressed how important it is for all Members of Parliament, from every party, to denounce these illegal acts – and to call for an end to these blockades.’
After the meeting, Conservative interim leader Candice Bergen said she wants Trudeau to ‘take action to bring this to an end peacefully and quickly.’

A DJ plays as protestors and supporters attend a blockade at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge on Thursday

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Protesters are seen in Windsor, Ontario, on Thursday night blocking the bridge

The Ambassador Bridge is one of at least three being blocked by the truckers – others barricaded include a crossing in Emerson, Manitoba, which sees $55 million in trade a day and a bridge in Coutts, Alberta, where $34 million in goods crosses daily – largely related to the beef and cattle industry and produce.
On Saturday, protests are planned on the Peace Bridge which connects Buffalo, New York with Fort Erie, Ontario.
Dennis Darby, head of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters lobby group, said the blockades were harmful.
‘It’s bad for Canada,’ he said, describing them as an ‘own goal.’
Ford’s restrictions are just the latest attempt to control the protesters.
On Monday, a court approved a 10-day ban on the honking of horns in Ottawa, the Ontario city and Canadian capital, after residents complained of the noise. 

A great-grandfather was handcuffed and hauled away by two Canadian cops for honking his horn in support of Freedom Convoy protesters in Ottawa on Sunday

The officer admitted that the man was being stopped because he honked his horn as the city deals with days of ongoing protests, led by truckers, against COVID restrictions

Gerry Charlebois, 78, was brought to his knees and arrested in Ottawa on Sunday for allegedly honking his horn, a day before a judge outlawed honking in the city

The day before the ban, a 4ft-10 inch great grandfather was handcuffed and arrested for honking his horn in support of the protesters in Ottawa. 
A bystander filmed while two officers pulled over Gerry Charlebois, 78, for beeping his horn.
‘What did he do wrong?’ the bystander asked. 
‘None of your f****** concern, man,’ one officer responded. 
The six-minute video shows officers shouting back and forth, with furious onlookers and Charlebois as he protests his arrest. 
Eventually an officer in a blue surgical mask grabs Charlebois to restrain him, and brings the vaccinated great-grandfather down to his knees in the middle of the street before handcuffing him against his van. 
Charlebois sustained injuries to his arms, hands, shoulders and knees. 
He was later fined $118 for ‘unnecessary noise’ but has not been criminally charged.

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