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The COVID REPORT – possible high school protest, updates and mandates

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Possible student protest in Espanola, M’Chigeeng and elsewhere

A possible protest by students could take place at Espanola High and Manitoulin Secondary today.

Students are being asked to walk out in support of the removal of COVID mandates at two pm, a move not supported by the school boards.

There is also talk about another possible convoy rally in Espanola tomorrow, but no confirmation has been received as of Friday morning. Photo of convoy moving through Espanola area by Rosalind Russell

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Crackdown expected today

Reports say the Ford government will issue emergency regulations later today to crack down on the truckers protesting vaccine mandates in several cities.

CTV reports the cabinet will meet to discuss imposing tougher fines and penalties on those participating in the demonstrations.

In Ottawa, the protest is now 15 days old, and continues to block streets in the capital.

The city’s police chief says they’re investigating threats against a towing company that has vehicles large enough to remove the trucks parked near Parliament.

He adds they’re also investigating what he calls “concerted efforts” to flood 9-1-1 lines with bogus calls.

A blockade at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor is entering its fifth day, choking off Canada’s busiest international crossing and officials in Niagara are preparing for a protest at the Peace Bridge crossing.

 

Feds discuss blockades

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a conference call last night with leaders of the opposition parties, to discuss the federal response to the trucker’s protests.

Trudeau is reiterating his stand that the barricades are unacceptable and are hurting communities across the country.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino confirms that more RCMP officers are being sent to communities affected by blockades.

Those include the border crossings at Coutts, in southern Alberta, and Emerson, in southern Manitoba.

 

Protest funding frozen

The Ontario government has won a court injunction, prohibiting the distribution of millions of dollars raised by the organizers of truckers protests across the country.

The court order covers two fundraising pages set up on the “Give-Send-Go” website, which describes itself as a Christian fundraising company.

The pages were set up after Go Fund Me cancelled the organizers’ previous fundraising efforts.

Officials at Give-Send-Go say Canadian authorities have absolutely no jurisdiction over how their funds are distributed.

 

Lifting of restrictions in Ontario

We’ll hear next week how rapidly the Ford government plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Doctor Kieran Moore, says we’re making what he calls “remarkable progress” in the battle against the virus and that has his team working on a review of the measures now in place.

Moore says any early easing of restrictions will be done in a cautious manner, adding there will be more clarity on a timeline for the lifting of all measures.

He plans to make recommendations to the cabinet next week.

Under the current government plan, most restrictions will be lifted by mid-March.

But Moore says mask-wearing requirements are likely to remain in place for some time yet.

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