Ontario transportation ministry says it suspended vehicles, seized plates during convoy protests

An Ontario Provincial Police vehicle is parked at the ongoing trucker blockade protest in Ottawa, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MTO) says it took a number of actions, including seizing licence plates, to help “bring the illegal occupation in Ottawa to an end,” a spokesperson for the ministry says.

In an email to Global News, Dakota Brasier, a spokesperson for Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, said the MTO suspended 24 Ontario passenger-plated vehicles.

What’s more, Brasier said 34 plates were seized for out-of-province passenger-plated vehicles.

Brasier also said the ministry issued 12 suspension and seizure orders to Ontario large truck operators, which suspended their operating authority throughout Canada, and issued an order to seize all plates registered to them.

According to Brasier, the ministry also issued 27 seizure orders to out-of-province large truck operators, which prohibited them from operating any commercial motor vehicles in Ontario.

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Trucker protests: ‘Don’t think anyone feels there was a low bar’ to invoke Emergencies Act, Trudeau says

The weeks-long demonstrations were initially aimed at denouncing vaccine mandates for truck drivers crossing the Canada-U.S. border, but morphed into a protest against a variety of COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government.

However, over the weekend, police removed protesters with the so-called “Freedom Convoy” from downtown Ottawa, where they had been clogging the streets for weeks.

The news from the MTO on Wednesday comes just hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the state of emergency that was declared amid the convoy protests had been lifted.

“In alignment with the federal government, Ontario will be terminating its declaration of a state of emergency as of 5:00 p.m. today,” a statement from Premier Doug Ford’s office said Wednesday.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would be revoking the use of the Emergencies Act, saying his government was confident that existing laws and bylaws would now be sufficient to keep Canadians safe.

-With a file from Global News’ Ryan Rocca

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