Trucker protests threaten border trade between Canada and U.S.
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, France24 reports.
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.”
Auto parts and other goods were still flowing across the border Tuesday evening, despite the bridge delays. But trucks had to travel almost 70 miles north to the Blue Water Bridge connecting Sarnia, Ontario, to Port Huron, Michigan.
Authorities at that bridge reported a nearly three-hour delay for trucks to cross. In total, the trip will take more than five hours longer than normal.