More than 100 vehicles continue to be parked Monday on a southern Alberta highway blocking access to the U.S. border, for the third day in a row.
The vehicles included semi-trucks, four-wheelers and farm equipment on Highway 4 south of Lethbridge near the Coutts border crossing, in support of the convoy to Ottawa with a goal to repeal a federal vaccination mandate for truckers, among other demands.
The Canada Border Services Agency website reported at seven-hour delay at the Coutts border crossing.
“While I respect everyone’s right to protest peacefully, we need the Coutts border crossing to reopen,” Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s transportation minister told Today’s Trucking in a statement on Monday.
“I am hearing 50-100 Alberta truckers remain stranded on the American side. Some haven’t eaten since Saturday, others have medical issues. And the products they’re hauling to help fill store shelves sit idle. Our supply chain and the livelihoods of everyone trying to cross the border safely should not suffer because of that,” she said.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Sunday said the blockade violates the province’s Traffic Safety Act and must end immediately.
“As I said last week, Canadians have a democratic right to engage in lawful protests. I urge those involved in this truck convoy protest to do so as safely as possible, and not to create road hazards which could lead to accidents or unsafe conditions for other drivers,” Kenney said in a statement.
Kenney noted in his statement that Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act gives police and prosecutors additional penalties they can levy to address blockades of highways and other infrastructure.
“Operational enforcement decisions are the responsibility of police services, and enforcement at the border crossing itself is in part a federal responsibility,” Kenney noted in his statement.
Mounties told demonstrators to clear the area on Sunday, warning protesters that enforcement may be necessary.
“The Alberta RCMP continue to act to preserve the peace and maintain public safety at the Coutts border crossing. Extensive efforts have been taken to engage with all stakeholders in the hopes that a peaceful resolution can be reached. We are working with truck drivers who are attempting to disengage from this event so that they are able to do so; however, current conditions have traffic immobilized,” the RCMP said on social media Sunday.
- This story has been updated.
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