Police in Ontario’s Niagara region are working to “manage” members of a trucker convoy near the Peace Bridge, and have shuttered lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Way as the protests continue.
In an email to Global News on Saturday, Niagara Regional Police Cst. Phil Gavin, said the force has been “working with local law enforcement partners on the Canadian side of the border to manage a convoy that had travelled along the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) earlier this morning towards the Peace Bridge.”
The protesters are demonstrating in solidarity with the so-called “freedom convoy” anti-mandate demonstrations taking place in Ottawa and across the country.
Gavin said the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) initiated a closure of the Fort Erie-bound lanes of the QEW.
“That closure remains in effect at this time,” the email read.
According to Gavin, commercial traffic is able to cross the Peace Bridge.
“Pedestrian crossing is not presently allowed,” he said. “Civilian traffic is able to cross if they are able to access the bridge at on ramp areas.”
Gavin said members of the convoy are in the core of Fort Erie.
“We also had protesters obstructing some lanes of the Toronto-bound QEW,” the email said.
However, according to Gavin, the force’s interactions with demonstrators on Saturday were “peaceful.”
“No charges have been laid as a result of the protest / convoy activities in Fort Erie,” the email reads.
Gavin said it is not the force’s practice to “provide operational details including the number of officers and resources, as it would potentially jeopardize the response.”
He said the situation is “ongoing at this time.”
The demonstrations, initially aimed at denouncing vaccine mandates for truck drivers crossing the Canada-U.S. border, have since morphed into a protest against a variety of COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government.
The news from Fort Erie comes as police have begun removing protesters from the Ambassador Bridge land border crossing in Windsor, Ont.
On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency.
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