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Protest started last month after Trudeau government mandated Covid-19 vaccinations for all truckers entering country

The “Freedom Convoy” of disgruntled long-haul Canadian truck drivers protesting against vaccine mandates has blocked a third US-Canada highway as part of their demonstrations.

“A demonstration involving a large number of vehicles & farm equipment is blocking the Emerson Port of Entry,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Manitoba announced on Thursday. “No traffic is getting through either northbound or southbound. The Port of Entry is shut down.”

The port of entry connects the Emerson community in Manitoba, Kanada, with the US city of Pembina in North Dakota.

Verlede maand, the truckers protest started after the Trudeau government mandated Covid-19 vaccinations for all truckers entering the country. While the protest started along the US-Canada border, it has since spread to other parts of the country.

The latest closure comes just days after protests blocked the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor in Canada as well as the Coutts border crossing from Montana to Canada’s Alberta.

The closure of the Ambassador Bridge has hit supply chains. Several automakers, including Toyota, General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler-parent Stellantis, said on Thursday that they had been forced to cancel or scale back some production at North American plants on Thursday as a fallout of the protests.

General Motors said that it had been forced to halt production on Thursday at a Michigan plant where it builds sport utility vehicles.

“Although we may have intermittent stoppages, we intend to keep production running and meet current schedules at all of our manufacturing operations in the US, Canada and Mexico,” said Shilpan Amin, GM’s vice president for global purchasing and supply chain in a mail to suppliers, het Reuters berig.

A spokesperson for Toyota said that the company was suspending production through Saturday at plants on both sides of the border, in Ontario and Kentucky.

Ford said that while its plants in Windsor and Oakville were running in reduced capacity, it was hoping for a quick resolution “because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the US and Canada”.

Intussen, op Woensdag, the police in Canadian capital Ottawa called the demonstrations unlawful and said protesters could be arrested without warrants.

“The unlawful act of blocking streets in the downtown core is resulting in people being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property,” said the press statement by the Ottawa police. “We are providing you notice that anyone blocking streets or assisting others in the blocking of streets may be committing a criminal offence.”

“You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you may face charges,”Het dit bygevoeg. “You could be arrested without a warrant for this offence if you are a party to the offence or assisting others in the direct or indirect commission in this offence.”

Prime minister Justin Trudeau has denounced the protests and urged demonstrators to retreat.

“This evening, I had several meetings that were focused on the illegal blockades and occupations happening across the country,”Het hy Donderdag gesê. “They’re harming the communities they’re taking place in – and they’re hurting jobs, besighede, and our country’s economy.”

He added that it was crucial to end the blockade that is hurting both the US and Canada.

“I briefed the leaders of the opposition parties on the current situation and the latest developments. I stressed how important it is for all Members of Parliament, from every party, to denounce these illegal acts – and to call for an end to these blockades,” he said in another tweet.

Die Ondersteuners van die konvooi het gesê hulle sal 'n beroep op mnr Trudeau doen om alle mandate te beëindig originally set out from Prince Rupert in the far east of British Columbia on 23 January to express their anger at the loss of vaccine exemption status for cross-border drivers, meaning that the unvaxxed returning from assignments in the US faced a gruelling 14-day quarantine period.

The issue only affected around 16,000 hauliers – given that 85 per cent of their colleagues have received their jabs, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance – but, since their arrival in Ottawa on 29 Januarie, the movement has mutated into a broader, all-purpose expression of anti-government dissent.