On Friday morning, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province. Ford said he would “convene cabinet to use legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”
The orders are to include protecting international border crossings, 400-series highways, airports, ports, bridges and railways. The province will also “provide additional authority to consider taking away the personal and commercial licenses of anyone who doesn’t comply with these orders,” Ford said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday afternoon called Ontario’s decision to declare a state of emergency over the ongoing blockades “responsible and necessary.”
He said he had discussed the ongoing border disruption with U.S. President Joe Biden earlier in the day. White House officials have reportedly been urging their Canadian counterparts to use their own federal powers to end the blockade.
“President Biden and I both agree that for the security of the people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue. So make no mistake. The border cannot, and will not, remain closed,” Trudeau vowed.
Speaking directly to the demonstrators, he told them it was “time to go home.”
The prime minister’s remarks came shortly before the Ontario Superior Court granted an injunction ordering protesters to clear the Ambassador Bridge by 7 PM local time.
The injunction was filed Thursday on behalf of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association and supported by the City of Windsor and Ontario’s Attorney General.