Blockade continues at border crossing south of Winnipeg

Authorities say they continue to work with protesters to reach a peaceful resolution to a blockade at a major border crossing between Winnipeg and Grand Forks.

Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police say dozens of semi-trailers, farm implements, and passenger vehicles began blocking the border early Thursday. Police said the number of vehicles at the scene has been fluctuating but that there were about 50 vehicles as of Friday.

The crossing between Emerson, Manitoba, and Pembina, North Dakota, is along a four-lane freeway known as Interstate 29 south of the border and Manitoba Highway 75 north of the border.

Friday’s blockade turned out to be largely symbolic since I-29 was closed due to a blizzard.

Police said no tickets had been issued and no arrests had been made as of Friday. Chief Superintendent Rob Hill, Officer in Charge of Criminal Operations for the Manitoba RCMP, said they would use discretion to guide their response.

"Let me stress that proper use of police discretion should not be confused with lack of enforcement. We always need to assess the situation at ground level and that may require us to wait for a lower-risk opportunity to do enforcement rather than inflame the situation," Hill said in a news release.

Similar blockades are underway at Coutts, Alberta and on the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

The RCMP said it is aware that a number of demonstrations are planned across Manitoba over the weekend and told people to expect delays on several roads, including the Perimeter Highway around Winnipeg.