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RCMP say main U.S. border crossing in Manitoba closed by convoy protest

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EMERSON, Man. -

A protest against COVID-19 restrictions blocked the main border crossing Thursday between Manitoba and the United States.

A few dozen rigs were blocking traffic in both directions, only allowing livestock trucks through, said David Carlson, reeve of the Emerson-Franklin rural municipality.

"This is not a slow-roll protest. Things are completely blocked right now," Carlson said.

The blockade could affect emergency response times, Carlson said, because municipalities on both sides of the border area share duties. The road into Emerson from Highway 75, just north of the border, remained open.

RCMP urged motorists to avoid the area.

Carlson said the Mounties had challenges communicating with the protesters.

"They're actually trying to find someone to negotiate with, there's really no spokesperson for it or a leader."

No one from the RCMP could immediately be reached for comment.

Ron Koslowsky, with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters association, said the blockade could cripple the two-way flow of supplies and export goods at the busy crossing.

He called for an end to all border protests.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the cause is, we can't let people hold the country and the economy, and the delivery of critical things across the border, at ransom," Koslowsky said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2022.

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