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The Providence of Ontario declared a state of emergency Friday morning amid the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, Premier of Ontario Doug Ford announced during a news conference.

Ford said he will use legal authorities and “take whatever steps necessary to make sure the border is reopened.” He also said truckers who refuse to clear the bridge and allow for traffic could face jail time, a $100,000 fine and risk losing their commercial licenses.

The initial declaration will last for 48 hours before officials meet to revisit the issue.

The news comes as Windsor officials prepared for a Friday afternoon court hearing with an Ontario Superior Court seeking an order to end the Ambassador Bridge blockade.

“It is our goal to ensure public/road safety and to keep the peace,” Windsor police tweeted early Friday, following a tweet the night before that said: “We have additional resources deployed from outside jurisdictions.”

Find out what’s happening in Detroit with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told WXYZ she has been “burning up the phone line” talking to federal officials on how to resolve the situation. She also reiterated the effects the blockade was having on Michigan’s economy.

“This is having a huge impact,” Whitmer said. “We are pushing on the Canadian government to resolve this swiftly and safely because every minute this goes on it’s incredibly damaging to our economy and to our people.”

Traffic on the Ambassador Bridge has been blocked by Canadian protesters since Monday evening. The truckers’ protests began in defiance to a new Canadian government COVID-19 restriction, which requires that all truckers crossing the U.S.-Canada border must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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