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Canada and United States collaborate to break the Covid blockage

Washington has urged its northern neighbour to employ federal powers to halt the blockades causing commercial disruptions by shutting down a crucial border crossing

Canada and United States collaborate to break the Covid blockage
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The so-called Freedom Convoy, which has been a source of global and political humiliation for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government over the past two weeks, has turned into a source of global and political disgrace for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

The protest over Covid restrictions began with a siege on Ottawa, Canada's capital, and has since expanded to include blockades in Alberta, Manitoba, and, most importantly, a key crossing in Ontario, which handles about a quarter of all trucked trade between Canada and the United States.

On Thursday, Trudeau's government reached out to officials in Washington to try to fix an issue that is impeding traffic at a key bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, the largest city in the US state of Michigan.

Ministers and officials have been summoned, according to a statement sent by the prime minister's office on Thursday night, "in close contact with representatives and officials from the United States of America to align efforts to resolve this situation".

According to allegations in the media, Washington has asked Ottawa to deal with the Covid embargo using "federal powers."

Trudeau attended a series of strike-related talks, including one with opposition party leaders.

The largest opposition party, the Conservatives, urged on the protest organisers to "tear down the barricades, stop the disruptive action, and come together." In the House of Commons, interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen introduced a resolution "to table a strategy for the abolition of all federal mandates and prohibitions, and to submit that plan by February 28, 2022."

On Monday, the proposal is scheduled to be considered and potentially voted on.

Meanwhile, a Superior Court of Justice in Ontario granted the provincial government's request to freeze cash raised on the crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo, prohibiting protest organisers from accessing the funds.

In a tweet referring to the order, the platform said, "Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo."

Another crowdfunding company, GoFundMe, had previously prohibited monies earned for the Freedom Convoy 2022 and is now refunding money to donors.

Opposition leaders have continued to criticise Trudeau's government for failing to defuse the Covid mandates-related crisis sparked by the occupation of Ottawa, which has now expanded to other parts of Canada and spawned copycat protests in other cities across the world.


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