‘Lower the temperature’: Minister Goertzen calls on the federal government to find a solution to border blockages

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WINNIPEG-

Manitoba’s justice minister is calling on the federal government to find a way to end mandate protests, including those that have blocked borders, like the one in Manitoba.

Kelvin Goertzen said he learned the importance of border crossings and what they mean to Manitoba, noting that goods need to move.

“With that in mind, I recognize the frustrations and challenges of those on the border, why they are protesting,” Goertzen said. “But I also understand that there are others who are affected and others who are, not the least of whom are truckers, who rely on crossing that border.”

He added that he disagrees with people blocking the border and thinks the causeway should be reopened.

With that, Goertzen calls on the federal government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “turn the temperature down” and find a solution to the unfolding protests.

“It needs to be resolved and it needs to be resolved with the federal government that is willing to engage with the people to try to come to a resolution.”

He said he hoped the federal government would do the right thing.

“We can’t have division anymore when it comes to some rhetoric. We have to reduce some of it.”

Goertzen also said those protesting at the border need to understand that they could impact people who agree with their position on the mandates.

He said people on all sides need to learn to better understand others and see where they are coming from.

“Take a step back, think about why other people feel differently from you. I’m not necessarily asking you to change your mind. I’m just asking you to consider why other people feel the way they do and I think that will lead us in a better place in terms of how we respond to each other.”

Goertzen also said he would prefer those protesting outside the Legislative Assembly not block the roads and honk their horns and make as much noise as they do, adding that this must end.

“I think their point was made. I think their point was heard.”

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said he was very disappointed with the province’s response to the current situation.

“I think this is a failure of leadership. It’s time for the Premier to come out and talk to the people of Manitoba. We have seen a serious escalation of the crisis in our province today,” Kinew said.

He said the provincial government was not responding properly to these protests and felt the premier should have given a clear message that the protesters needed to go home.

He added that he doesn’t think the province should blame Trudeau, noting that it has many tools to prevent that from happening.

During question period Thursday in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Trudeau said the current barricades are unacceptable and are having an impact on Canadians.

“This is hurting communities across the country. That’s why I’ve worked closely with municipal leaders, with all of our partners…We’re going to continue to do what’s necessary to end these barricades,” Trudeau said.

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