Canada’s freedom convoy truckers and protesters continued late Monday to block the Alberta-Montana border, one of the busiest crossings in the country, in solidarity with their brethren in Ottawa.
According to a report, motorists crossing Canada’s border between Montana (United States) and Alberta (Canada) have been caught in an obstruction of vehicles that have closed the highway south of the city of Lethbridge, Alberta, 65 miles to the Canada-U.S. border crossing in the village of Coutts.
Despite being located 2,000 miles from Ottawa, the protest is directly linked to the events in the Canadian capital, where demonstrations are running into the fourth day against Prime Justin Trudeau and COVID-19 vaccine requirements which require unvaccinated truckers to undergo a PCR test and quarantine.
On Monday, Trudeau declared he would not meet with the truckers currently occupying Ottawa to protest the mandate for vaccinations due to their hateful rhetoric.
The truckers in Alberta were slammed by local law enforcement officials who ordered drivers to get their trucks in gear and stop blocking trucks and other commuters from entering the blocked border.
But the drivers who are stationed on the border refused to leave the main route used for commercial goods between the two nations.
Canadian truck driver John Schwarz was caught up for forty hours while returning from Idaho.
“These guys are basically holding us hostage, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Schwarz said.
On Monday afternoon, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said certain vehicles could exit the traffic blockade, but the border was still closed. After a few hours, the truckers had been convinced to move on.
“Through negotiations and continuous talks with the organizers of the event, in the last little bit, the organizers agreed to open up, and some of the vehicles have been allowed to leave,” RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said.
“Some of these guys have been stuck here for three days, and you know, no access to shower [or] food and away from their families. So it’s good news for them.”
The blockade also impacted the village of Coutts, where 100 trucks along Highway 4 prevented a school bus from leaving the village to get to the nearest school.
Coutts residents, which are about 250, were also unable to reach the village’s grocery store, gas station, and pharmacy.
“I’m disappointed, I think is the main thing,” Coutts Mayor Jim Willett said. “Not impressed with the fact that they blocked off the highway. This event is unlawful.”
A plan was worked out for the town so that life in the village could continue like normal. However, the plan quickly broke down when truckers were barred across the border.
RCMP was also instructing those trying to enter the U.S. to head to another border crossing, while in Montana, the situation was the same.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has also called for the local blockade to end and added that it caused a significant inconvenience to lawful motorists.
The Alberta cross-border crossing is utilized by truckers who transport various products across the border. This includes meat and agricultural equipment.
Trudeau held a press conference in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Over the past few days, Canadians were shocked and frankly, disgusted by the behavior displayed by some people protesting in our nation’s capital,” Trudeau said, referring to the unrest in Ottawa, which began on Saturday.
When asked if Trudeau was planning to meet the demonstrators, Trudeau said he had no intention of going near protests that have expressed hateful rhetoric and violence towards their fellow citizens.
As per the new guidelines, unvaccinated Canadian drivers cannot travel to the U.S. until they’ve received the vaccine. American drivers are not currently allowed to enter Canada until they have a certificate that proves they’ve been vaccinated.