- A planned anti-mandate protest at Saskatchewan’s only 24-hour border crossing with the US was redirected to a nearby port of entry.
- A group of activists traveled 20 kilometers east to the Northgate crossing, where they conducted a rally on private property adjacent.
- The RCMP advised that there would be an increased police presence and that parking along Highway 39 would be restricted and enforced by officers.
On Saturday, a planned anti-mandate rally near Saskatchewan’s sole 24-hour border crossing with the United States was rerouted to a neighboring port of entry.
Along the Canada-North Dakota border, the North Portal crossing is 40 kilometers southeast of Estevan, Saskatchewan.
Police stated publicly on Thursday that demonstrators would require a staging place on private land to be present.
When CBC News arrived in North Portal on Saturday afternoon, RCMP officers told us that demonstrators did not have authorization from nearby landowners, so they were turned away.
Following that, several demonstrators drove 20 kilometers east to the Northgate crossing, where they held a rally on private land nearby.
When CBC News arrived, around 25-30 people lined up, waving Canadian flags and holding posters that said “freedom over fear.”
“This is done in the spirit of communal togetherness. It’s a group of nonviolent individuals who want to connect here, “Marlene Swan, who was present during the demonstration, agreed.
Swan claimed the event was planned before police in Ottawa began destroying the Freedom Convoy, a bigger rally.
She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to speak out against “government overreach” and sent a message to Canadian lawmakers.
“Your people were out on the roads, byways, overpasses, and the downtown center of Ottawa because they don’t feel represented by you,” she explained.
Initially, North Portal expected up to 200 cars.
A convoy of automobiles planned to assemble outside Saskatchewan’s border crossings starting Friday, with a message to “mandate freedom” – a challenge to government requirements regarding COVID-19, according to the name and logo of a private Facebook group called Southbound and Down.
The Village of North Portal informed residents about the demonstration and the council’s stance of remaining neutral via mail and a Facebook post on Wednesday.
The protest would include 60-80 semi-trucks and up to 120 passenger automobiles, according to the post.
“Water, lagoon usage, rubbish pickup, public facility rental, and other usual municipal services will not be provided to the event by the village.”
Travelers should anticipate being asked why they are traveling through North Portal by police for the length of the demonstration, according to the village council.
The public and the media were alerted by the RCMP on Thursday of planned demonstrations at the North Portal and Northgate entry gates.
The RCMP warned of enhanced police presence and the fact that parking along Highway 39 will be prohibited and enforced by officers.
“We are engaging with all stakeholders before and during the protests to ensure that everyone participating is aware of the existing legal parameters of a peaceful and legitimate protest,” the RCMP stated in a press release on Thursday.
Members onsite would turn anyone away who did not have access to a special staging area, authorities stated at the time.
Source: CBC News