A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesperson said the US-Canada border at Coutts, Alberta, remains inaccessible after truckers moved additional vehicles to block the highway on Tuesday evening.
The protesters in Coutts are part of a group of truckers across Canada that have successfully blocked major border crossings in protest of Canada’s mandate requiring that trucker drivers be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or face strict testing and quarantine requirements.
Fraser Logan, spokesperson for the RCMP in Alberta, said that vehicles were moved onto Highway 4, completely blocking access to the border, around 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
“Protesters moved in 10 farm tractors and three passenger vehicles,” Logan said, describing the situation as fluid.
In a Tuesday evening press conference, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki had touted the dwindling number of truckers present at the protests as progress towards breaking the blockade. He said that was through successful conversations with the protesters over the almost two-week-long blockade.
Part of the success, Zablocki said, was convincing truckers to allow a lane of traffic to open in either direction towards the border.
Logan did not have any information as to what may have led the truckers to bring in the additional vehicles and completely shut down roadway access. However, Logan did confirm that the RCMP in Alberta is continuing to talk to towing companies about moving the trucks.
According to Department of Transportation statistics, roughly 150,000 trucks pass through the Sweet Grass-Coutts border crossing each year. The nearest border crossing to the east adds about two hours of travel to a trip; the nearest border crossing to the west adds about an hour travel to a trip.
Zablocki said the protests started in Coutts 12 days ago with over 250 truckers, but as of Tuesday evening, that number has dwindled to around 50.