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At a press conference on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renewed his calls for protesters to leave the country’s vaccination mandate, called the protests ‘illegal’ and said the consequences would be ‘more serious’ , in reference to Ontario’s declaration of a state of emergency. .
“The consequences are more and more serious. You don’t want to end up losing your license, ending up with a criminal record, which will impact your job, your livelihood, even your ability to travel internationally, including to the United States,” said he declared.
The protests, in their second week, have caused mass blockades in the Canadian capital of Ottawa and at several border crossings. Businesses on both sides of the Canada-US border said they were affected by the protests.
Earlier Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency for the province and said people who break the law and continue blockades could face penalties of up to 78 $000 and a year in prison. Ford said it would consider revoking the personal and business licenses of anyone who fails to comply with those orders.
Trudeau said he spoke with President Biden on Friday morning about the border blockade and the presence of Americans in the protests. He said he also discussed the flooding of 911 lines in Ottawa with bogus calls on Wednesday, which Canadian police said came mostly from U.S. addresses, and the effect of foreign money to fund the protests.
“President Biden and I agree that for the safety of the people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister also reiterated his resistance to using the military to lift the blockades. “The use of military force against civilian populations in Canada or any other democracy is something that should not be done at all costs. This is why the current solution focuses on the police force,” he said.