Judge in Ontario says the injunction would come into effect at 7 pm local (0000 GMT) on Friday evening to give demonstrators time to end protests

Truckers and supporters continue to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates, in Windsor.
Truckers and supporters continue to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates, in Windsor. (Reuters)

An Ontario judge has granted an injunction to end the blockade of North America's busiest international land border by protesters opposed to coronavirus restrictions.

The judge said the injunction would come into effect at 7 pm ET (0000 GMT) on Friday evening to give individuals time to clear the area.

Windsor police immediately warned that demonstrators blocking the streets could be subject to arrest and their vehicles may be seized.

The blockade on the Ambassador Bridge, ongoing since Monday, has cost Canada's automotive industry hundreds of millions of dollars, plaintiff Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association said in its Feb. 10 submission to court.

It was not immediately clear when or if law enforcement officers would be sent in to remove the demonstrators, who parked their pickups and other vehicles in a protest against the country’s Covid-19 restrictions and an outpouring of fury toward Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.

READ MORE: Canada declares state of emergency in Ontario over truck blockades

State of emergency

On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a provincial state of emergency, calling protests in Ottawa and Windsor a "siege."

Ford also pledged new legal action against protesters, including fines and potential jail time for non-compliance with the government's orders.

Ford said violators will face up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. 

The orders will also provide additional authority “to consider taking away the personal and commercial licences of anyone who doesn’t comply," according to his office.

READ MORE: Canada truckers' protest grows, fuels similar campaigns abroad

Trudeau vows to end trucker blockades

Canadian leader Justin Trudeau said on Friday all options were now "on the table" for ending trucker-led protests that have paralysed Ottawa and closed border crossings with the United States, but stressed calling in the military was a distant final resort.

"Everything is on the table because this unlawful activity has to end and it will end," the prime minister told a news conference.

The Canadian capital has been clogged with hundreds of big rigs for two weeks -- as the snowballing movement has morphed into a broader protest against pandemic health rules and Trudeau's government, and sparked solidarity rallies from France to New Zealand.

READ MORE: Trucker blockade hits key artery in US-Canada auto industry

Source: TRTWorld and agencies