The mayor of Windsor, Ont., will testify today at a public inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to clear ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters blockading streets around Parliament Hill and several border crossings.
The scheduled testimony from Drew Dilkens comes as a piece of evidence shows he exchanged texts with Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who sought the mayor’s support for “any additional authorities” to keep the Ambassador Bridge open, hours before the legislation was announced.
A summary of the exchange is contained in a timeline the City of Windsor submitted to the Public Order Emergency Commission before today’s hearing, which provides a blow-by-blow account of its response to the blockade.
Protesters decrying COVID-19 mandates moved in on the Ambassador Bridge on the evening of Feb. 7, setting off alarm bells on both sides of the Windsor-Detroit link — the busiest border crossing between Canada and the U.S.
Hundreds of millions of dollars of trade are carried across the bridge daily, particularly for the automotive industry, which the city says suffered under the temporary closure.
Police armed with a court injunction ultimately removed protesters who refused to leave, and the bridge reopened to traffic in the early hours of Feb. 14.