A government official in Canada says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will invoke emergency powers across all of Canada to quell the protests by demonstrators who have paralyzed Ottawa and blocked border crossings in anger over the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.
For the past two weeks, hundreds and sometimes thousands of protesters in trucks and other vehicles have clogged the streets of Ottawa, the capital, railing against vaccine mandates and other virus precautions and condemning Trudeau’s Liberal government.
The senior government official who confirmed the plans to use emergency powers was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing was reopened after protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 measures blocked it for nearly a week.
A larger protest in the Canadian capital of Ottawa persists as city residents seethed over authorities' inability to reclaim the streets.
Demonstrations against COVID-19 restrictions and other issues have blocked several crossings along the U.S.-Canada border and hurt the economies of both nations.
Police in Windsor, Ontario, arrested 25 to 30 protesters and towed several vehicles Sunday near the Ambassador Bridge, which reopened to traffic late Sunday night.
The bridge connects Windsor to Detroit. It's responsible for 25% of all trade between the U.S. and Canada, carrying nearly 8,000 trucks with more than $323 million in goods every single day. About $100 million of that is auto parts, engines and vehicles coming from the Motor City.
CNN reported Monday that authorities seized 13 long guns, along with handguns and body armor from a small organized group connected to the protests. Police also seized high-capacity magazines and what was reportedly a large quantity of ammunition.
Protesters had prevented traffic into Canada from crossing the Ambassador Bridge for six days, forcing truckers to route to another bridge dozes of miles to the north. That caused hours-long traffic jams along I-94 in Michigan.
A senior government official told The Associated Press that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would meet virtually with the leaders of Canada's provinces on Monday morning about ongoing "Freedom Convoy" protests in other parts of the country.
The protesters are demonstrating against rules that require truckers entering Canada to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing.