UPDATE: (11:11 a.m.) — Truck drivers continue to block the Ambassador Bridge at the U.S. and Canadian border in protest of new COVID-19 mandates.
Around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Transportation – Metro Detroit tweeted out that the bridge was still closed and non-truck traffic should take the Windsor tunnel to cross over to Canada.
You can look at the scene LIVE at the top of this page.
And for more information, read the story below:
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canadian lawmakers expressed increasing worry Tuesday about the economic effects of disruptive demonstrations after the busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada became partially blocked by truckers protesting vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions.
The blockade at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, prevented traffic from entering Canada while some U.S.-bound traffic was still moving, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said, calling the bridge “one of the most important border crossings in the world.” It carries 25% of all trade between Canada and the United States.
Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said such blockades will have serious implications on the economy and supply chains. “I’ve already heard from automakers and food grocers. This is really a serious cause for concern,” he said in Ottawa, the capital.
Added Mendicino: “Most Canadians understand there is a difference between being tired and fatigued with the pandemic and crossing into some other universe.”
Speaking in an emergency debate late Monday in Parliament, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the protesters are “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy.”
The daily demonstrations staged by the so-called Freedom Truck Convoy are centered in Ottawa, where demonstrators have used hundreds of parked trucks to paralyze parts of the capital for more than 10 days.
Ottawa’s city manager said all tow-truck companies on contract with the city have refused to haul away the big rigs. The protests have infuriated people who live around downtown, including neighborhoods near Parliament Hill, the seat of the federal government.
Dave Weatherall, a federal civil servant, lives near the truckers’ prime staging area in a city-owned parking lot outside of the downtown core. “They’re using the lot to terrorize people in Centretown,” he said, asking why the city has allowed the convoy to remain parked on its property for free and without intervention.
“It’s the first time since having kids that I’ve seriously wondered about the world we brought them into. I always figured they could handle most things the world will throw at them, but this feels different,” he said.
Demonstrations have spread to locations on or near the Canadian border, including the Ambassador Bridge, where a protest caused long backups and at one point stopped traffic in both directions. The bridge remains blocked on the road to Canada.
At a news conference after Trudeau spoke, trucker spokesman Tom Marrazo reiterated that the protesters want to overthrow the government. Marrazo said he is willing to meet with the opposition parties and the nation’s governor general, the representative of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
All three opposition parties technically could join together and defeat the government because Trudeau does not have the majority of seats in Parliament, but that is highly unlikely because lawmakers from the opposition New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois have condemned the protests.
Protesters have also closed another important U.S. Canada border crossing in Coutts, Alberta.