The Alberta RCMP continue to act to preserve the peace and maintain public safety at the Coutts border crossing.
What may have begun as a peaceful assembly quickly turned into an unlawful blockade. While the Alberta RCMP has been in a position to conduct enforcement, we have been engaged with protesters at the Coutts border crossing in an effort to find a peaceful and safe resolution for all involved. We thought we had a path to resolution, the protesters eventually chose not to comply.
As of this morning, further action is being taken by the Alberta RCMP as this blockade continues to impede the ability for emergency agencies to provide full services to area residents. It has also negatively impacted the flow of goods and services, and impedes the public's freedom of movement.
A Highway is considered essential infrastructure. It is unlawful to wilfully obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the construction, maintenance, use or operation of any essential infrastructure in a manner that renders the essential infrastructure dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective as per the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act of Alberta. Anyone who actively blocks a highway—or aids, counsels or directs a highway to be blocked—may be subject to arrest and charge under this act.
Person's participating in this blockade can also expect enforcement of any contraventions of the Criminal Code of Canada, the Traffic Safety Act and Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulations at this location and area roadways.
The Alberta RCMP uses necessary measures to protect the fundamental freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, to promote the safety of all citizens, to enforce laws and to maintain peace and order. In turn, it must be recognized that while everyone has a right to peaceful freedom of expression; the general public, local residents and businesses also have the right to a safe environment and freedom of movement. This event is not a peaceful assembly.
Alberta RCMP would like to advise that commercial vehicles should contact Canada Border Services Agency for further information regarding border crossings.