Alberta Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) say they are taking further action on the Coutts border assembly.
In a statement, Alberta RCMP say what “may have begun as a peaceful assembly quickly turned into an unlawful blockade.”
“While the Alberta RCMP has been in a position to conduct enforcement, we have been engaged with protesters at the Coutts border crossing in an effort to find a peaceful and safe resolution for all involved. We thought we had a path to resolution, the protesters eventually chose not to comply.”
“A Highway is considered essential infrastructure. It is unlawful to wilfully obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the construction, maintenance, use or operation of any essential infrastructure in a manner that renders the essential infrastructure dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective as per the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act of Alberta.”
The Critical Infrastructure Defence Act came into force on June 17, 2020. Under this act, anyone who actively blocks, aids, counsels or directs the blocking of a highway may be arrested and charged. Penalties under the act include up to $10,000 for a first offence, up to $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time (up to 6 months), and up to $200,000 for corporations.