Politics

U.S.-to-Canada crossing blocked by truckers fighting Trudeau's Covid mandate

Key Points
  • The busiest land crossing from the United States to Canada remained shut on Tuesday, Canada's border agency said, after Canadian truckers blocked lanes on Monday to protest their government's pandemic control measures.
  • Drivers demanding an end to federal Covid-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border traffic began blocking the streets of Canada's capital, Ottawa, on Jan. 28.
  • Since Sunday night, police have started slowly taking back control, seizing thousands of liters of fuel and removing an oil tanker truck.
  • Canada sends 75% of its goods exports to the United States, and the bridge usually handles around 8,000 trucks a day.
Truckers stand in line as they block the Ambassador Bridge (not pictured) on the I-75 and I-96 highways in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., February 7, 2022, in this still image taken from a handout video obtained by Reuters on February 8, 2022.
Macomb County Scanner | Reuters

The busiest land crossing from the United States to Canada remained shut on Tuesday, Canada's border agency said, after Canadian truckers blocked lanes on Monday to protest their government's pandemic control measures.

Drivers demanding an end to federal Covid-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border traffic began blocking the streets of Canada's capital, Ottawa, on Jan. 28. Since Sunday night, police have started slowly taking back control, seizing thousands of liters of fuel and removing an oil tanker truck.

Trucks started blocking traffic at the Ambassador Bridge, located between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, late on Monday. Canada's Border Services Agency said on Tuesday that the bridge was closed, but police later tweeted that U.S.-bound lanes were now open.

A person attends a demonstration, as truckers and supporters continue to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 6, 2022.
Lars Hagberg | Reuters

The owner of the bridge, the Detroit International Bridge Co, said international commerce on the bridge needed to resume.

"We encourage the appropriate officials to take prompt action to alleviate the situation as quickly as possible in a manner that reflects mutual respect," the company's chairman, Matt Moroun, said in a statement.

Canada's Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he was closely monitoring the situation.

Canada sends 75% of its goods exports to the United States, and the bridge usually handles around 8,000 trucks a day.

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."

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks about the trucker protest during an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada February 7, 2022.
Blair Gable | Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, appeared in public on Monday for the first time in more than a week after being infected with Covid-19, saying the protest had to stop.

Trudeau was due to return to parliament on Tuesday to face opposition legislators demanding he do more to end what one aide called a "national humiliation."

He has denounced the demonstrators' tactics.

"Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens' daily lives," he told an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Monday night. "It has to stop."