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Canadian Farmers Blockade Alberta-Montana Border Crossing During Escalating Mandatory Vaccination Protest

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 8, 2022
Canadian farmers have added to the blockade of the Alberta-Montana US-Canada border crossing at Coutts after the government failed to respond to demands to end vaccine mandates and lockdown measures.
Footage of Canadian farmers deploying heavy equipment to strengthen the blockade of the U.S.-Canada border crossing to Montana at Coutts, Alberta during the ongoing and escalating protest against mandatory vaccine coercion and lockdown measures. (Image: Twitter screenshot)

Canadian farmers have entered the arena of a lesser-publicized aspect of the Freedom Convoy trucker protest against the Trudeau government’s mandatory vaccination for cross-border truckers edict: the ongoing blockade of the Alberta-Montana border crossing in Coutts, Alberta.

Independent media outlet Rebel News reported based on their on-the-ground reporting on Feb. 8 that local farmers had begun moving large amounts of heavy equipment into the Coutts area, completely blockading the U.S.-Canada border with Montana during the evening of Feb. 7.

According to Rebel, the Coutts protest began on Jan. 29 in solidarity with the occupation of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, by the main Freedom Convoy protest.

The outlet states that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s federal police force that is primarily tasked with law enforcement in rural locales, has long since been preventing thousands of supporters from joining the main event at the Coutts border, causing additional participants to pile up 20 kilometers away in Milk River.

Rebel reported that spokespersons for the Coutts blockade released a statement addressing Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a Conservative, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Liberal, during the working hours of Feb. 7 demanding an immediate end to all provincial and federal pandemic measures including mask mandates and vaccine passports.

Yet it appears that the Alberta Government failed to respond despite media reports that Kenney was set to speak and give an announcement that day. Based on the Government of Alberta’s YouTube channel, the Premier did not appear; only Labour and Immigration Minister Tyler Shandro spoke on the 7th.

According to the Calgary Sun, Kenney is set to give a press conference at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 8 where a concrete roadmap of the removal of pandemic restrictions, including vaccine passports, is set to be unveiled. 

However, Kenney’s office would not discuss details early, the Postmedia conglomerate affiliate stated, merely releasing a statement that glossed over the border blockade entirely, stating, “For security reasons we are not confirming the timing and location of the meeting to discuss lifting measures…We will send out a media notice when an announcement is ready.”

Rebel journalist Syd Fizzard speculated in a Feb. 7 tweet chronicling a convoy of heavy equipment rolling into the area that farmers stepped in precisely because Premier Kenney declined to address the group’s demands.

Neighboring Saskatchewan, also a Conservative-run province, took advantage of Feb. 8 to become the first in Canada to announce the removal of vaccine passports and mask mandates beginning on Feb. 14 and March 1 respectively, reported the Canadian Press.

Coutts isn’t the only border being occupied by working class protestors. As of Feb. 7, the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario was blockaded by truckers.

Bloomberg reported that the part of the thoroughfare for U.S.-bound traffic had reopened by the morning of Feb. 8, yet remained blockaded in the other direction.