Manitoba

Protesters continue to blockade major Canada-U.S. border crossing in Manitoba

Protesters in about 50 semi-trailer trucks, farm equipment and other vehicles are blocking all highway lanes at Manitoba's main Canada-U.S. border crossing on Saturday.

RCMP monitoring Highway 3 protest where last weekend people were delayed going to hospital

People block the Canada-U.S. border crossing at Emerson, Man., with heavy trucks and farm equipment on Thursday, Feb. 10. The blockade was still set up on Saturday. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Protesters in about 50 semi-trailer trucks, farm equipment and other vehicles are blocking all highway lanes at Manitoba's main Canada-U.S. border crossing on Saturday.

A number of Mounties from the Emerson and Morris, Man., detachments are on the scene and are advising people in the area to expect "substantial delays" because Highway 75 at PR 200 is blocked, RCMP said in a news release on Saturday.

Emergency vehicles, including police, as well as some agriculture transports have been getting through the blockade, but otherwise there is no traffic flow in the area.

The blockade has been there since Thursday, and is part of a number of demonstrations in cities and at border crossings across Canada by people against pandemic restrictions and a federal vaccine mandate for truckers.

David Carlson, the reeve of Emerson-Franklin, wants provincial and federal governments to open dialogue lines with protesters.

"We all know this isn't sustainable to continue. There has to be some dialogue and I think, probably everyone needs to come together to come up with a solution to this," he said in an interview on CBC News Network on Friday.

WATCH | Reeve of Emerson-Franklin on ongoing blockade:

Emerson-Franklin reeve on blockade at Manitoba-U.S. border

6 months ago
Duration 3:35
Dozens of vehicles have occupied the Emerson, Man., area for days

Officers are working with the protesters and organizers to reach a peaceful resolution to border the blockade, the release says.

No tickets have been issued, and nobody has been arrested.

Carlson is concerned about further disruptions to the supply chain, and says some things like heavy machinery parts are difficult to come by in his municipality.

"It's kind of scary to think what these border blockages could do to shortages we're having already," he said.

RCMP are also monitoring a planned protest on Saturday along Highway 3 near Morden and Winkler.

Mounties will be stationed at points along the highway to keep the access point to Boundary Trails Health Centre clear and accessible.

This comes after a slow roll convoy took place last weekend, making two nurses late for work and stalling two ambulances heading to the hospital.

In addition, a man driving his elderly sister to the emergency room for chest pains was delayed for an hour without a cell phone.

At the time, RCMP said in a tweet that the situation was "completely and utterly unacceptable and it cannot be repeated."

Mounties say anyone who is trying to access the hospital and gets caught up in the convoy should call 911 immediately for assistance because it's not always clear when people are not willing participants in the convoy, the release says.

RCMP say drivers should also expect delays due to planned protests in the areas of Deacon's Corner in the rural municipality of Springfield, in the Selkirk area and along the Perimeter Highway.

Mounties will be monitoring all events.

In an emailed statement later Saturday, an RCMP spokesperson said "there were no issues or concerns noted with any of the convoys," which ranged from 25 to 50 vehicles at each location and were mostly made up of passenger vehicles.

For example, the convoy from Selkirk had 25 vehicles, including two semi-trailer trucks, Robert Cyrenne said in an email. That group left Selkirk around noon and got to Winnipeg just after 1 p.m.

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