Emergency Powers Made Permanent

Emergency Powers Made Permanent

On April 14, Bill 100, the Keeping Ontario Open for Business Act was passed in the Ontario Legislature by the Ford government with the support of the NDP, Liberals and Greens. The legislation is said to be in response to the week-long blockade of the Ambassador Bridge in February of this year. It has made the emergency powers the Ford government declared at that time permanent, with all roads leading to the border now subject to broadened and arbitrary police powers and penalties.

This is an important matter for our riding as much of Windsor-Tecumseh is subject to these new powers, especially the E.C. Row Expressway, Highway 401 and county roads as well as rail lines that provide for the movement of manufactured and agricultural goods from the local area and other parts of Ontario, since they all lead to border crossings. The same applies to Windsor’s International Airport.

These powers in fact apply to the whole province and all the north-south transportation corridors right from northern Ontario’s mines to Windsor and other manufacturing centres, ports, and U.S. border crossings in southern Ontario. While the new powers and enforcement tools are presented as being in response to the “Freedom Convoy” blockade, in fact the establishment of permanently secured corridors leading to the border to make Canada a more secure source of natural resources for the U.S., especially of what are called “critical minerals,” has been called for since well before the blockades even took place.  While the blockade of Ambassador Bridge was used to justify the new powers the Ontario government has given itself, the legislation can be used against workers asserting their rights and Indigenous Peoples defending their lands and resources.

Read the full legislation here.

Photo courtesy of: www.ola.org