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Ontario extends anti-blockade police powers

Premier has previously said he wants to make some temporary measures permanent.

PHOTO: Police stand in Ottawa’s city centre on Jan. 31, 2022, when truckers were occupying the area to protest COVID-19 restrictions., Michael Charles Cole/CBC

Ontario has extended emergency powers granted to police to help clear blockades resulting from protests against COVID-19 measures.

Premier Doug Ford last week ended a state of emergency he declared on Feb. 11 but the powers he granted to police remained in place until at least Saturday, with the possibility of being extended.

A spokeswoman for Ford confirmed Monday that the order granting police extra powers had been extended for two more weeks.

The powers authorize police officers to revoke licences, order the removal of vehicles or fine people up to $100,000 for blocking critical infrastructure.

Ford declared the provincial emergency two weeks after an occupation of downtown Ottawa began and days after a blockade at the Ambassador Bridge had been disrupting trade at the key border crossing between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit.Β 

The premier has said he aims to make some of the temporary measures aimed at stopping infrastructure blockades permanent but hasn’t yet said how his government plans to do that.

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