Freedom Convoy: Washington asks Ottawa to use federal powers to lift border blockades
Sylvie Claire / February 11, 2022
The United States is asking Canada to use federal powers to remove blockages at the border of the two countries caused by convoys protesting against health measures, White House officials said Thursday.
The U.S. administration offered the department's full support to Homeland Security, they said.
The White House said that several ministers and senior U.S. advisers (Homeland Security, Transportation) were in regular contact with their Canadian counterparts, and assured that the Biden administration was mobilized 24 hours a day to bring a rapid end to a crisis that is disrupting American industry.
President Joe Biden himself is regularly briefed, according to the same source.
The White House further states that it was notified of a freedom convoy in Washington, D.C., in early March, and assures that it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that this convoy does not disrupt commerce or transportation, and does not affect the work of the federal government, law enforcement, and rescue efforts.
We have no information at this time that the individuals mobilized are involved in any activity that does not fall within the scope of free speech as protected by the Constitution, the White House said.
Three border crossings between Canada and the United States are now blocked by protesters who are challenging the health measures.
Several Ford, Stellantis and Toyota auto plants in North America had to temporarily close or operate at reduced capacity due to the blockades.
The mobilization has been emulated in Europe, where several cities have already banned such demonstrations. In Belgium, the cities of Brussels and Ghent warned on Thursday that they would not allow the convoys to enter their respective territories.