Photo: ANDRE PICHETTE / EFE
OTTAWA- The government of the Canadian province of Ontario declared a state of emergency on Friday due to protests by truckers opposed to measures against Covid and that block the main route for the traffic of goods between Canada and the United States.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the move at a news conference, saying authorities will impose fines of up to $100,000 Canadian dollars (about $79,000 US dollars) and sentences of up to one year in prison those who block or impede vehicular traffic.
The announcement comes on the fifth day of the blockade of the main land crossing between the US and Canada, the Ambassador Bridge, which connects the Canadian town of Windsor with the US town of Detroit and through which merchandise worth $400 million dollars.
Shortly before Ford announced the state of emergency, the truckers allowed the opening of a lane for the transit of vehicles on that bridge.
The blockade is causing serious damage to the economies of Canada and the United States: General Motors (GM), Ford, Stellantis and Toyota have had to reduce or cancel production at plants on both sides of the border due to supply problems caused by the blockade. Ambassador Bridge blockade.
At least two other border crossings, in central and western Canada, are also experiencing blockages and delays. for the actions of truckers and farmers opposed to the measures adopted to contain the pandemic.
And in Ottawa, some 400 trucks and hundreds of people have been occupying the streets surrounding the Canadian Parliament for two weeks.
In recent hours, the US authorities have demanded that the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau act to unblock merchandise traffic between the two countries and have offered their help to end the blockade on the Ambassador Bridge .
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