The Pacific Highway border crossing has reopened, however, police are diverting vehicle traffic to alternate border crossings, Surrey RCMP said in an update provided Monday morning.
The U.S. border crossing, located in South Surrey, was closed over the weekend because of an anti-vaccine mandate protest that drew hundreds of people to the area near the truck crossing.
Officer in charge of Surrey RCMP Brian Edwards said that over the weekend he was at the border to support policing operations and assess the situation on Highway 15 firsthand.
“I understand the frustration of the public who wish to see this situation end,” Edwards said in the release. “I want to assure our community that I am committed to seeing this situation resolved safely, peacefully and as soon as possible.”
Currently, there is no access to 176 Street south of 8 Avenue. In addition, 0 Avenue is blocked at 184 Street to westbound traffic. Police continue to work with area residents to keep the neighbourhood near the border to local traffic only, Mounties said.
Surrey RCMP said it is working with provincial and federal RCMP units as well as the Canada Border Services Agency in response to the situation.
“Enforcement action is continuing today and officers are engaged with protesters in the area.”
As of Monday, four protesters have been arrested for mischief at the border. While police said the protest has been “mainly peaceful,” a few vehicles breached police barricades on Saturday, driving down the wrong way on 176 Street.
“While no injuries were reported as a result of the incident, this had the potential for harm to pedestrians and first responders,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Vanessa Munn said. “This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and is being investigated.”
The protest at the Pacific Highway border was inspired by the main protest in the nation’s capital.
A convoy of trucks has locked down sections of Ottawa in protest of the federal government mandate on vaccination for truckers entering and exiting the country.
Since then, that protest has widened and others have erupted at border crossings across the country, most notably at the Ambassador Bridge, connecting Windsor and Detroit, which wasblocked for nearly a week.
On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency that will allow his cabinet to impose $100,000 fines and up to one year in jail as punishments against people who continue to illegally block roads, bridges, walkways and other critical infrastructure.