‘It’s bad for business’: Surrey border remains blocked after weekend protests

Traffic continues to be stalled at the Pacific Highway border crossing as protesters remain on surrounding roads. How the RCMP is handling them and why some say they don’t plan to leave. Crystal Laderas reports.

Despite most protesters clearing out, some vehicles continue to block a number of roads leading to the Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey.

As of 5:30 a.m. Monday, many of the roads leading to the border remained closed. There is no access to 176 Street south of 8 Avenue. 0 Avenue is also blocked at 184 Street to westbound traffic.

“At this time, the border is open however; protest activity in the area has made it necessary to divert vehicle traffic to alternate border crossings. Pedestrians are also strongly encouraged to use alternate routes,” reads a statement from Surrey RCMP issued at about 11:15 a.m. Monday.

Images from the areas of 176 Street at 4th Avenue and 176 Street at 8th Avenue early Monday morning show groups of vehicles camped out behind blockades, with some tents set up.

A short distance away, a line of police vehicles were seen blocking off access to Pacific Highway, seemingly stopping protesters from getting closer to the border.

Mounties say they are working with other provincial and federal RCMP units, as well as the Canada Border Services Agency.

“Enforcement action is continuing today and officers are engaged with protesters in the area.”

On the U.S. side, police in Blaine also continued to prevent access into Canada at the port of entry Monday morning.

Jerry Segismundo works for a company based in Ferndale, Washington. He headed to the Pacific Highway crossing early Monday to check on the situation, noting he has a driver caught up in the closures.

“I’ve got our truck lined up there for 45 minutes now and they have no idea what time it’s going to open,” he told CityNews.

Related articles: 

The driver needs to pick up products from a warehouse in Ferndale and bring them back to B.C., where a customer from Calgary is supposed to pick them up.

With the unknowns around whether the border will open and with deliveries scheduled throughout the week, Segismundo says he has concerns about how the business will cope.

“I’m very frustrated and now I’ve got to make that call to my customer that they can’t pick up,” said Segismundo, who added they’re going to try to see if they can cross at another port of entry to get around the closures for the time being.

“It’s bad for business. They’ve already made their point, why block business? It’s absurd what they’re doing right now, everyone has a choice right?” he said of the protesters. 

While other crossings remain open, Segismundo says his drivers can’t simply choose to use another port of entry.

“When we prepare our documents, we state that we’re going to use this crossing. We can’t just go to another border to use it, I don’t know what the rule is. We’ve never had this situation before,” he explained.

The ongoing blockades come after a weekend convoy ended at the Pacific Highway Truck Crossing, drawing a large crowd that moved from a nearby lot toward the actual Canada-U.S. border.

Four people were arrested at the anti-COVID-mandate demonstration Sunday, with Mounties saying they were taken into custody for mischief.

Though the group had originally gathered at a lot near the crossing on Saturday, some vehicles, including a military-style truck, broke through police barricades, with crowds joining the blockade shortly after.

“The public is asked to continue to avoid the area,” an update from the RCMP Sunday reads. Mounties noted the ongoing road closures, adding some feeder routes also remain shut down.

The protests in B.C. come as a large demonstration continues to disrupt life in downtown Ottawa. That protest, which began as a cross-Canada convoy, has taken over much of the downtown core in the nation’s capital for more than two weeks now.

There are some other border blockades across Canada, including in Coutts, Alberta. A larger protest that had the Ambassador Bridge crossing in Windsor, Ontario for nearly a week was dispersed Sunday, with arrests made.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today