WINDSOR, Canada: The busiest land crossing from the U.S. to Canada remains closed after Canadian truckers blocked roads to protest against the Canadian government’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Windsor Police tweeted that while traffic in both directions was initially blocked, U.S.-bound lanes have since reopened.
Canadian police also reported that another border crossing at Coutts, Alberta, was blocked for inbound and outbound traffic by protesters.
The truck drivers are demanding an end to federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border traffic, and they began blocking the streets of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, on 28th January.
Police have started taking back control of roads, seizing thousands of liters of fuel and removing an oil tanker truck.
Ottawa Deputy Police Chief Steve Bell told reporters they have immobilized many of the heavy vehicles taking part in the blockade, adding that sone one-quarter of the 418 protest vehicles in the downtown area have children in them, and the police are concerned for their welfare.
Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, told reporters he had contacted the mayor of Windsor and local legislators about the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit, Michigan, with Windsor, Ontario.
“We will continue to work so that we can keep the supply chains moving across the Ambassador Bridge, as well as the wheels of our economy turning,” he said.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of the protests, “It is clear these disruptions have broadened in scope beyond the vaccine requirement implementation.”
The president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association called for an immediate end to the blockade, saying “persistent delays at the Ambassador Bridge risk disrupting automotive production that employs tens of thousands of Canadians.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared in public for the first time in more than a week after contracting COVID-19, saying the protests have to stop.
When interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen asked Trudeau in parliament whether he will follow the science and end the restrictions quickly, he responded, “We are going to continue to follow the science.”