Police warn COVID-19 protesters in Winnipeg to clear out or risk consequences

By The Canadian Press

Winnipeg police have issued an ultimatum to protesters who have parked vehicles near the Manitoba legislature for almost three weeks.

Officers delivered a letter to the protesters that warns they could face charges or have their vehicles seized if they do not clear out by late Wednesday afternoon.

More than a dozen large vehicles have blocked a street near the legislature to protest COVID-19 restrictions, although traffic in the surrounding area continues to flow.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman has called on the protesters to leave, citing the disruption caused by the occupation of a street and blaring horns.

The protesters have said they have been peaceful and have co-operated with police, and recently moved trucks away from the front entrance to the legislature grounds.

They have demanded a meeting with the prime minister, but city police have told them to remove all their vehicles.

“Your ongoing presence and blocking of streets is interfering with the lawful use and enjoyment of personal and public property,” the letter issued Tuesday by police states.

“Failure to (remove vehicles) may result in enforcement action being taken, including arrest and charges.”

The letter lists a number of options, including powers under the federal Emergencies Act “which could include seizing vehicles, trailers and other equipment, and the freezing of assets.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2022

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