Ontario Governor Doug Ford declared a “state of emergency” on Friday.
This happened in reaction to the two-week-old “Freedom Convoy” demonstrations, which he hoped would bring an end to roadblocks in major cities and at foreign border checkpoints.
Liberals are digging in their heels
Ford’s announcement was made after a story on Thursday from Canada’s Rebel News, alleging that Ford was planning to drop the province’s vaccine requirement, which sparked the truck driver demonstrations.
Truckers planned to block Ambassador Bridge, the busiest bridge between Canada and America, this week, in addition to a significant headline demonstration in Ottawa.
As per the Canadian Press, Ford announced trucks that refused to obey and open the crossing would risk jail time and penalties of up to $100,000.
Rebel News, which has covered the Freedom Convoy truck driver demonstrations, tried to claim on Thursday it obtained a capturing of Ontario Premier Doug Ford telling his supporters he would abandon the country’s vaccine travel documents.
This is a cordial move that has not yet taken place and would seem to be at odds with the national emergency proclamation.
Ontario health minister Christine Elliott says the province has no plans to drop its vaccine passport system or mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/ughnFsHOOZ
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) February 9, 2022
The tape of Ford’s phone call, according to Rebel News, was provided by one of the fans who heard it.
The person claiming to be Ford says he decided to cancel the vaccine passports after getting “approximately 250” texts on Thursday morning pleading with him to do so.
They won’t give in any time soon
On Wednesday, the majority of Canadian media attention in Ontario suggested the vaccine requirement will not be withdrawn anytime soon.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott stated as much, announcing free quick coronavirus screening for Ontario citizens at grocery shops and pharmacists.
“At this time, we have no plans to abandon the passport immunization or masking procedures. We think masking will continue to be significant for a long time,” Elliott said.
🚨TRUCKER TRIUMPH: Embattled Ontario Premier deluged by phone calls, caves in to demands to drop vaccine passports.
In this phone call, recorded by a supporter, he says he'll make the announcement tomorrow. Full story here: https://t.co/MxhEMDGtv7 pic.twitter.com/6JXn1kKYgj
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 11, 2022
“We still have to be cautious,” she remarked. “We’re not promising the folks of Ontario this will last indefinitely. We’re not out of the woods yet, so we need to act to defend Ontarians with papers and masks for the time being.”
According to the Toronto Sun on Wednesday, Ford’s government was “digging in their heels” and unwilling to heed local medical professionals’ recommendations it was time to start easing up.
On Tuesday, Dr. Matt Strauss, the medical director for the Haldimand-Norfolk area of Ontario, announced on social networks “it’s time to remove vaccine requirements.”
Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, a communicable diseases doctor who handles COVID patients in the GTA, went on CBC, saying the very same thing.
He declared it’s past time for Ontario to follow the example of other regions and countries around the world. This viewpoint is gaining popularity by the day.
So, what’s the snag? I’m curious as to what Ford and his advisers are thinking about right now.