Alberta Could Lift Vaccine Passport in ‘Days’, Denies Negotiating With Trucker Blockade
( Breitbart )
United Conservative Party (UCP) caucus chair Nathan Neudorf dismissed claims that rural UCP members of the Alberta legislative assembly (MLAs) had negotiated a deal with the trucker blockade at the border town of Coutts to end the coronavirus restrictions in the province in exchange for opening the border.
“Reports have surfaced that the United Conservative rural caucus has negotiated an agreement to temporarily end the Coutts blockade pending the outcome of a rural caucus meeting to discuss the immediate lifting of the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP),” Neudorf said in a statement Wednesday.
“No such agreement has been authorized and the meeting is not to discuss lifting the REP. As the Premier has stated, Alberta will begin lifting restrictions very soon, likely within days, starting with the REP,” Neudorf added, broadcaster CBC reports.
The REP is Alberta’s vaccine passport system and Premier Jason Kenney stated earlier this week that the province was looking to end the system by the end of February.
Kenney had previously stated that the province would not implement a vaccine passport before doing a u-turn and implementing the programme just months later.
Some within the UCP have called on Kenney to end the vaccine passport before the end of the month, including MLA Dave Hanson who stated that the government needed to “Defuse the border confrontation and remove the REP.”
The trucker blockade of the border between Canada and the United States at Coutts has eased in recent days, allowing traffic in each direction after opening up two lanes following negotiations with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Lawyer Chad Williamson, who represents the truckers, told CBC, “The truckers finally feel like their message has been heard,” but added, “That doesn’t mean the protest is over, but it signals what we hope to be ongoing cordial efforts to address the concerns of the people who have been involved in the movement down here in Coutts.”
Earlier this week, Premier Kenney had claimed that RCMP officers had been assaulted by the blockade protestors stating, “Assaulting law enforcement officers who were simply doing their job to maintain public safety and the rule of law is completely unacceptable.”
However, Breitbart News confirmed with the RCMP that there had been no assault on police and that the only such incident had occurred between two civilians following a traffic accident in the area.
“There was an assault that took place between two civilians. One of them was a protester who had been travelling the wrong way on a one-way lane of highway and then got in a collision with the innocent person. … But we haven’t had any assaults of police,” RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said.