Ontario invests in new measures to protect border crossings from illegal blockades
by CM Staff
The proposed legislation would provide police officers with additional enforcement tools to impose roadside suspension of drivers’ licences and vehicle permits.
MISSISSAUGA — The Ontario government is introducing new measures including proposed legislation that, if passed, would enable law enforcement to better protect jobs that rely on international trade and shield the economy from future disruptions like the recent illegal blockade of Windsor’s Ambassador Bridge.
“Ontario is a strong, reliable trading partner, and we are signalling to the world that we continue to be open for business,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We will do everything in our power to protect our workers, job creators and international trade relationships from any future attempts to block our borders. The world can be confident that Ontario is open for business.”
The Keeping Ontario Open for Business Act, 2022 would, if passed, enable the province to respond immediately to future disruptions to international border crossings when those disruptions interfere with the economy and international trade.
The proposed legislation would provide police officers with additional enforcement tools to impose roadside suspension of drivers’ licences and vehicle permits, seize licence plates when a vehicle is used in an illegal blockade and remove and store objects making up an illegal blockade.
The government is also investing nearly $96 million in new measures and tools to support province-wide responses during unlawful demonstrations and illegal blockades that impede international borders and airports. These include:
- Enhanced training through the Ontario Police College for all law enforcement services to support safe and effective public order policing
- Improvements to the operational strength of the Ontario Provincial Police in the areas of emergency management and investigations and intelligence, including the establishment of a permanent Emergency Response Team, and
- Purchasing equipment such as heavy tow trucks that are necessary to keep borders open.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of essential goods for people and businesses pass across our international borders every day,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Taking steps to ensure our border crossings can continue to operate regularly in the event of disruptions like those experienced earlier this year is vital to the ongoing safety and security of the people of Ontario and our economy.”