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‘There Will Be Consequences’: Ontario Premier Declares State Of Emergency Over Trucker Protest

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency Friday, warning truckers protesting vaccine mandates that they would be severely fined and jailed if they do not comply with orders.

“Today I’m using my authority as Premier of Ontario to declare a state of emergency in our province, and I will 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,” Ford said. “This will include protecting international border crossings, 400 series highways, airports, ports, bridges and railways.”

“Fines for noncompliance will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment. We will also provide additional authority to consider taking away the personal and commercial licenses of anyone who doesn’t comply with these orders,” he added.

“This will not impede the rights of Ontarians that peacefully protest. It will provide additional tools to help stop illegal occupation of Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor. While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law.”

Ford then took aim directly at the truckers, according to BBC.

“To those who have attempted to disrupt our way of life by targeting our lifelines for food, fuel and goods across our borders, to those trying to force a political agenda through disruption, intimidation and chaos, my message to you is this: your right to make a political statement does not outweigh the right of hundreds of thousands of workers to earn their living.”

Truckers have been protesting against vaccine mandates and passports, shutting down parts of Ottawa and major routes in Canada. The Biden administration has reportedly urged Canadian officials to use “federal powers” to crush the convoy as it blocks the U.S.-Canada border. Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement Thursday calling on Canadian officials to “reopen traffic on the [Ambassador] Bridge,” which has been shut down by truckers. (RELATED: MSNBC Staffers Hyperventilate About Canadian ‘Insurrection’ Armed With Plink Tables, Pizza Ovens, Hot Tubs)

“It is imperative that Canadian local, provincial, and national governments de-escalate this economic blockade,” Whitmer said. “They must take all necessary and appropriate steps to immediately and safely reopen traffic so we can continue growing our economy, supporting good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for families.”

An Ontario judge ruled Thursday that funds donated to the truckers through GiveSendGo would be frozen, with the crowdfunding site issuing a rebuke late Thursday evening.

“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,” the site said in a tweet.

The “Freedom Convoy 2022” page has raised more than $8.5 million, while the “Adopt-a-Trucker” page has raised nearly $700,000, The Globe and Mail reported. Protesters began using GiveSendGo after GoFundMe shut down their page.

Meanwhile, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency Sunday over the protests, and Ottawa police have begun seizing truckers’ fuel supply while a judge outlawed honking.