Crowd Grills Federal Government Over Bridge Blockade Restitution

A local MP has questioned the Government over a perceived lack of response to promised funding for Windsor following the crippling Ambassador Bridge blockade.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse of the NDP rose in the House of Commons on Friday morning to ask why there had been no response to law enforcement being reimbursed for overtime necessitated by the lifting of the lockdown in February.

“We learned this week that this government will reimburse the City of Ottawa for policing costs in the last mismanaged convoy crisis,” Masse told the House of Commons. “Meanwhile, Windsor has heard nothing about the $6 million the city had to spend to clear the Ambassador Bridge blockade.”

Masse also called on the minority Liberals to claim victory after the Windsor and Ottawa blockades were lifted and trade resumed.

“All week we’ve heard that the Liberals recognize the work done at Windsor, but it’s still my residents who are paying the price,” Masse said. “We did everything right, and we took it on the chin. Why is this government making it so difficult for the people of Windsor?”

In response, Representative Pam Damoff for Oakville North-Burlington, the parliamentary secretary for the Department of Public Safety, said the department was aware of Masses’ concerns.

“We are committed to protecting the welfare and safety of Canadians,” Damoff said. “Actually, I just spoke to the minister this week about this very issue. I know he is aware of the issue and I invite the Honorable Member for a chat and I shall be happy to chat with him as well.”

Friday was not the first time Masses had questioned the Liberals about returning the blockade. He rose on March 30 to request a timetable, but received a non-binding reply from Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety.

The blockade, which virtually closed off access to the bridge for a week until February 12, ended after the city of Windsor declared a state of emergency, which gave law enforcement additional powers to remove protesters who illegally blocked the bridge to fight COVID -19 to protest mandates. Several police agencies seized 37 vehicles and charged 46 people, but the operation was relatively peaceful.

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