Last Updated on February 11, 2022
Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on Friday and said he’ll use all government resources to end a two-week protest by Canadian Freedom Convoy truckers over vaccine mandates. “It’s an illegal occupation,” Ford said in a statement. “This is no longer a protest.”
Premier Doug Ford announces Ontario is entering a state of emergency. The premier outlined how protesters could face fines of $100,000 and a year in jail, saying that "there will be consequences for these actions."
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Ford threatened protesters who block roadways with up to $100,000 in fines and a year of prison time. “There will be consequences for these actions and they will be severe,” Ford said. The brother of the late Rob Ford touted actions his government took against GiveSendGo, a crowdfunding site that began hosting Freedom Convoy donations after GoFundMe froze their link and attempted to reroute donated funds to left wing causes. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted a request from the provincial government on Friday to freeze access to millions of dollars donated to the truckers through GiveSendGo.
The company later issued a statement saying that such actions are illegal. “Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign,” wrote GiveSendGo in a tweet.
“I’m using my authority as Premier of Ontario to declare a state of emergency in our province.” Ford continued. “And I will convene cabinet to use legal authority to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear, it is illegal and punishable to block the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”
The premier threatened protesters with up to $100,000 in fines and up to a year in prison for failure to comply. “Fines for noncompliance will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment,” Ford said. “We will also provide additional authority to consider taking away the personal and commercial licenses of anyone who doesn’t comply with these orders.”
Peaceful protests against Canada’s vaccine measures have been ongoing for two weeks. Hundreds of protesters have remained camped outside Canadian federal buildings and have implored Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to talk with them, which he has refused. The protesters are calling for an end to mandates, vaccine passport systems and an end to other draconian COVID measures. Protesters have also blocked three separate border crossings between the U.S. and Canada, including the Ambassador Bridge that connects with Detroit, Michigan.
Similar protests have popped up in Europe, with a convoy of protesters set to arrive in Paris tomorrow morning. Police in Paris and Brussels have banned the demonstrations and set up roadblocks in an effort to prevent protesters from getting in.