Ontario Premier Doug Ford held a press conference on Friday, where he announced that the province is now positioned to remove "almost all" restrictions. The premier also announced a state of emergency due to protests taking place in Ottawa and in Windsor.
Ford says public health advisers are "working on a plan" to eliminate the vaccine passports.
"Today we're on track to very soon remove almost all restrictions for businesses as part of our reopening plan," the premier said, citing the words of CMOH Dr. Kieran Moore, who said he was "working on a plan that will allow us to remove the vaccine passport system."
Last night, a recording obtained by Rebel News revealed the intent of Ford to announce the end of mandates on Friday.
"We’re pulling these passports. We’re going to get back to normal. I can’t get you the exact date, but it’s going to be very soon. I’ll be speaking over the next few days. Friday I’m going to put out a statement. Monday I’ll be giving some dates. And we’re going to move forward," he said in the alleged recording.
State of emergency declared in Ontario
Ford also declared a state of emergency
The premier condemned the blockades taking place on the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor and Detroit, Michigan, stressing the importance of two-way trade with the US.
Ford said that the demonstration was "no longer a peaceful protest," also calling protests in Ottawa a "siege."
"This is no longer a protest. With a protest, you peacefully make your point and go back home, and I know the vast majority of people did that," said Ford, saying that the point has been heard, and telling those at the border crossing and in Ottawa to go home.
"I urge you, it's time to leave, and it's time to do so peacefully," he said.
"There will be consequences to these actions, and they will be severe," he said, saying that the province was cracking down on funds from the GiveSendGo.
"Today, I'm using my authority as premier of Ontario to declare a state of emergency in our province. I will convene cabinet to use legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal-clear [that] it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people, and services on critical infrastructure," said Ford, which will include international border crossings, 400-series highways, airports, ports, bridges, and railways.
"It will also include protecting the safe and essential movement of ambulatory and medical services, public transit, municipal and provincial roadways, as well as pedestrian walkways."
Fines for non compliance will be "severe," with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year in prison, the premier said.