Feb 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Vaccine mandate protesters block main border crossing in Manitoba

Farmers blocking a highway in protest of vaccine mandates near Sarnia, Ontario, on Feb. 10.

Farmers block a highway in protest of vaccine mandates near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on Feb. 10. Photo: Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images

People protesting vaccine mandates in Canada blocked the main U.S.-Canada border crossing in Manitoba on Thursday with a number of vehicles and farm equipment, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the province said.

Why it matters: Three ports of entry between the two countries have now been either temporarily closed or delayed by several hours over the protests, and auto factories that rely on those crossings have begun halting production.

  • The Ambassador Bridge, one of the busiest crossings between Canada and the U.S., is still closed Thursday after long-haul trucks and smaller vehicles blocked traffic destined for Canada earlier this week.
  • There's also a seven-hour long delay on the Canadian side of the Sweet Grass-Coutts crossing at the Montana-Alberta border, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

What they're saying: "A demonstration involving a large number of vehicles & farm equipment is blocking the Emerson Port of Entry. No traffic is getting through either northbound or southbound. The Port of Entry is shut down. Please avoid the area," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba said Thursday.

  • Though the Mounties said the port, which connects Emerson, Manitoba, to Pembina, North Dakota, was closed, the Canada Border Services Agency still had no delay listed at the crossing as of around 10 a.m. CST.

The big picture: Protests over the vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions have continued for several days in Ottawa and have started spreading to other provinces.

  • The protests have been supported by several Republican politicians in the U.S., including former President Trump.
  • The Department of Homeland Security warned in a bulletin to law enforcement agencies this week that protests similar to the ones occurring in Canada could soon begin in the U.S., noting that it has received reports of truck drivers planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities.

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