Ontario drops vaccine proof, protests persist


(AP) — Ontario’s premier announced Monday that Canada’s most populous province will lift its COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination requirements in two weeks — not because of the protests that have blocked the border and paralyzed Ottawa, he said, but because “it is safe to do so.”

The busiest US-Canada border crossing, meanwhile, was open again Monday after police removed the last of the protesters who had bottled up the Ambassador Bridge for nearly a week in a demonstration against Canada’s virus restrictions. But the larger truck-borne protest in the capital, Ottawa, persisted as city residents seethed over authorities’ inability to reclaim the streets.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that on March 1, the province will drop its requirement that people show proof of vaccination to get into restaurants, restaurants, gyms and sporting events. A surge of cases caused by the omicron variant has crested in Canada.

The province will also remove its 50 percent capacity limit on restaurants on Thursday, four days earlier than planned. Ford gave no timetable for dropping the requirement that people wear masks in public places.

“Let me very clear: We are moving in this direction because it is safe to do so. Today’s announcement is not because of what’s happening in Ottawa or Windsor but despite it,” Ford said.

“We need law and order. Our country is at risk now. It’s not just not happening here in Ottawa, but it’s happening in Alberta and British Columbia,” Ford said. “We won’t accept. it”

Trudeau planned to meet virtually with the leaders of Canada’s provinces on Monday morning, as well as with lawmakers.

The prime minister has so far rejected calls to use the military but has said “all options are on the table” to end the protests including invoking emergency measures. Trudeau has called the protesters a “fringe” of Canadian society. Both federal and provincial politicians have said they can’t order police what to do.

Demonstrations against virus restrictions and other issues have bottled up several crossings along the US-Canada border and hurt the economies of both nations. They also inspired similar convoys in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands. US authorities have said that truck convoys may be in the works in the United States.

Police in Windsor, arrested 25 to 30 protesters and towed several vehicles Sunday near the Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor — and numerous Canadian auto plants — with Detroit. The bridge, which carries 25 percent of all trade between the two countries, reopened to traffic late Sunday night.

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  1. People dancing in the streets and hugging one another for 2 weeks and COVID still declining. Where is the science on this one?

  2. Barbados has done the same.

    All tourists and visitors who want to visit the Caribbean, don’t come to Antigua. Go to islands like Barbados and spend your hard earned money there. You will enjoy a better time in the other islands. The government here treats us like shit.

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