(bigleaguepolitics) – Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency Friday in order to stop what he described as a “siege” in Ottawa and Windsor as protests by the now-famous Canadian truck convoy continue to create gridlock throughout the Canadian border.
The new orders by the Canadian premier promised severe consequences; Ford said that those who do not pack up and go home immediately can face fines as high as $100,000 and up to a year in prison.
The premier said the orders will “make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”
Ford also suggested that the nation of Canada plans to continue its criminalization of protesting that the government does not support.
“While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law. We are taking the steps necessary to support our police as they do what it takes to restore law and order,” Ford said at a news conference.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked similar standards in the past, recently going on record stating that he has supported previous protests, but only if the cause is one he personally agrees with.
“I have attended protests and rallies in the past. When I agreed with the goals, when I supported the people expressing their concerns and their issues, Black Lives Matter is an excellent example of that,” Trudeau said a few weeks back.
Protests in Ottawa by truckers and others have officially surpassed the two-week mark; The blockade in Windsor at the Ambassador Bridge is a bit newer, remaining ongoing since Monday.
“We are now two weeks into the siege of the City of Ottawa. I call it a siege because that is what it is. It’s an illegal occupation,” Ford said. “This is no longer a protest. With a protest, you peacefully make your point and you go back home, and I know that the vast majority of people did that. They came, they peacefully demonstrated, they made their point and they left.” And I want to say to those people, you have been heard, Canada has heard you.”
“My message to those still in Ottawa, to those at our border crossings, please go home.”
Big League Politics covered the Ontario premier earlier this week after he pleaded with truckers to go home, but had not yet invoked emergency powers in an attempt to end the blockade.
The cause for the pro-freedom Canadian protestors remains hopeful. Another recent and breaking development revealed that the Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo, which has raised at least 8 million dollars for the convoy so far, has promised that it will not seize any funds donated towards the cause despite the Canadian government ordering they do so.