Police in Surrey made multiple arrests Monday night in the vicinity of the Pacific Highway border crossing, the site of a multi-day blockade by anti-vaccine mandate protesters.
Mounties arrested 12 people for mischief and intimdation, according to the Surrey RCMP, starting at 8:30 p.m. Vehicles on the Canadian side blocking access to the border on 176 Street have also been removed.
There's also an ongoing investigation into incidents on Saturday, Feb. 12. That's when the protest at the Surrey border crossing began and a police barricade was broken.
As a result, the area at and around the border has been cleared, and crossings are accessible at Pacific Highway once again.
"The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is pleased to report operations have now resumed at the Pacific Highway port of entry, which recently experienced a service disruption," stated the CBSA Tuesday morning.
"We thank you for your patience and for helping us to minimize the impact of this border service disruption."
Surrey RCMP is planning to remain active in the area for the coming days as they assess the situation.
“Local residents and businesses in the area have been patient and supportive as we’ve worked towards a resolution, with public safety always remaining at the forefront,” says the Surrey RCMP's officer-in-charge Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards in a press release.
The Pacific Highway crossing is a popular alternative to Peace Arch and is the crossing for commercial truck traffic.
Monday morning, Surrey RCMP continued road closures in the area, and urged drivers and pedestrians to seek an alternative crossing location. On the U.S. side, authorities in Blaine, Washington, conducted a similar closure, affecting access to the SR 543 crossing into Canada.
On Saturday anti-vaccine mandate protesters formed a blockade at the Pacific Highway border crossing.
At about noon Sunday, police took action at the site of one of the border blockades created by the protesters. Mounties arrested four people for "mischief," according to a press release from police.
By Monday afternoon, Surrey RCMP noted it was working with other provincial and federal RCMP units as well as the CBSA in response to the ongoing situation at the border. "Enforcement action is continuing today and officers are engaged with protesters in the area," the RCMP said.
"The RCMP respects the right to peaceful protest but unlawful activity will not be tolerated. Investigations into unlawful activity, including dangerous driving that occurred over the weekend are ongoing," added the Surrey RCMP.
Over the weekend I was on scene to support policing operations and to assess the situation on Highway 15 firsthand. I understand the frustration of the public who wish to see this situation end, said Edwards.
I want to assure our community that I am committed to seeing this situation resolved safely, peacefully and as soon as possible.
With files from Brendan Kergin