Gurdeep Chumbur says he sympathizes with trucker colleagues concerned about cross-border COVID-19 vaccine missions, who have taken drastic action to make their views known.
But he was relieved on Thursday when a second blockade on a highway leading to the main southern Alberta border crossing cleared and the RCMP opened up some trucks headed for the United States.
“It’s great, yes, because I need to work. I have bills to pay,” Chumbur said after being given the green light by the police to go down Highway 4. “I see, you guys are protesting, that’s great. Just stick to one side and let us go for it. “
Chumbur said he was stranded in Montana for four days last weekend and was eventually redirected to Roosville Border Crossing in British Columbia before heading back to Calgary for another load. He’s on his way to Utah.
Protesters began their blockade Saturday in solidarity with similar events in Ottawa and across the country to protest against vaccine authorizations and broader public health measures.
Second blockade causes problems near Coutts . border
The standoff has stranded cross-border travelers and truckers, damaged millions of dollars in trade and hindered people’s ability to access basic medical goods and services. people in the area.
On Tuesday, some protesters left the main blockade area after the Mounties announced talks to end the stalemate had failed and they were set to make arrests and tow vehicles. Some trucks left but others overcame police barriers to join the protest.
Truckers are stuck trying to get around the blockaded Coutts border, but the beef industry in Alberta has run out of options.
“There are no hard feelings. Me with them. I understand, but unfortunately, I cannot stand and protest,” said Chumbur.
“I have to pay the bills. I have a small family so that’s how it is.”
Protesters remained at the main blockade area in Coutts, Alta., but on Wednesday agreed to open a lane on each side of the highway.
The RCMP warned early Thursday morning that a line of protesters in vehicles, parked just north of the Coutts intersection, blocked vehicles heading south on Highway 4 and asked the public to avoid the area. this.
1 traffic lane is open in each direction, but away from traffic at Coutts . border gate
Hundreds of vehicles including trucks, tractors and cars have united to blockade the route with the main blockade.
Many truckers honk their horns as they made their way down the highway.
“Our officers at the barricade there have been talking to people who are blocking traffic and can facilitate traffic going south to the border, so that’s positive in the coming days. now,” Cpl said. Curtis Peters.
Ryan Kenney drove down Wednesday to join the latest protest.
“I am here to support the protest against missions. They need to negotiate with truckers at the border,” Kenney said.
“Sleeping here overnight and I plan to stay until I have to. I will be here for many days. ”
Sean Alexander of Calgary said he also decided to come down to give himself extra support.
“We have truckers here, you have farmers down here… you have oil and gas workers down here,” he said. “Probably eighty boys slept on the highway last night. None of us get paid. “
Just after noon on Thursday, a number of vehicles entered Canada from the United States at the Coutts border gate.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said that at around 12pm on Thursday, officers were able to resume processing travelers entering Canada at the Coutts border “after the highway was restored” on the north side of the border gate.
“Travelers in Coutts are still expecting significant delays due to a backlog of vehicles over the past six days trying to enter Canada,” CBSA said.
The agency has temporarily extended business hours at the Motorway intersection (8am-10pm) and Del Bonita intersection (9am-10pm).
In a statement on Thursday morning, the Alberta Sheriff’s Association said public safety is a priority and if protests like this continue, “we will take action.” coercion at events like this, responding appropriately to the risks to public safety.”
“Albertans can feel confident that their respective police services will jointly maintain peace and security throughout this province.”
– with files from Global News.
© 2022 Canadian Press
https://globalnews.ca/news/8591790/alberta-coutts-border-blockade-day-6-protest/ U.S.-bound trucks finally make their way through the Alberta border protests at Coutts