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Ontario orders 12 truck operators out of service over Freedom Convoy protest

Canadian province’s transport ministry says it suspended operating authorities

Ontario has cracked down on the operators of trucks that remained in Ottawa. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation is taking 12 truck operators out of service — suspending their operating authorities and ordering the seizure of their license plates — in connection with their role in the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa, Canada.

Ministry spokesperson Dakota Brasier declined to identify the operators or say if they included any carriers. The suspensions last for seven days, Brasier wrote in an email.

Sources close to the ministry told FreightWaves that at least one carrier had its operating authority suspended.

An additional 27 truck operators from outside Ontario have been prohibited from operating in the province for seven days, Brasier wrote.

It’s not clear how the ministry determined which operators would be sanctioned. The measures were taken to “help bring the illegal occupation in Ottawa to an end,” Brasier wrote. 

The sanctions targeting trucks were part of a series of extraordinary measures authorized by the Ontario and federal governments in response to the protests in Ottawa and at multiple U.S.-Canada border crossings.

It included empowering law enforcement to suspend the commercial vehicle operators’ registrations and CDLs, and freeze corporate bank accounts.

Canada lifts state of emergency, but prosecutions to continue

The governments lifted their states of emergency on Wednesday. That came after police brought the three-week protest in Ottawa to an end on Monday following a large operation. 

“The situation is no longer an emergency,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a news conference.

Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act on Feb. 15, marking the first time the law had been used. Since then, police have cleared blockades at three border crossings and the protest in Ottawa.

“Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act,” Trudeau said. “We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are now sufficient to keep people safe.”

Critics argued that invoking the act wasn’t necessary for police to take those actions. The opposition Conservative Party accused Trudeau of using the law to bolster his own power. 

While the Emergencies Act has been revoked, Justice Minister David Lametti, who appeared with Trudeau —  said violations of it that occurred while it was in force would continue to be prosecuted in the justice system.

However, authorities are unfreezing bank accounts targeted as part of the emergency measures.

The protests began in late January, initially in response to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers. However, they became a rallying point for multiple grievances about public health restrictions related to the pandemic.

Watch now: What actually happened with the Freedom Convoy?

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One Comment

  1. Bob Rothwell

    I think Ontario is going a little over the top with suspending peoples businesses ,especially if they have employee’s or serve an area where there’s not a lot of options for customers.
    That being said it should also be judged for what they actually did at the Convoy, causing disruption etc. Just my thoughts .

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]