Ambassador Bridge reopens after week of protests

Traffic is once again crossing the Canada-U.S. border at the Ambassador Bridge, following a weeklong blockade that led the Ontario government to declare a state of emergency.

Police arrested 25 to 30 people on Sunday, acting on an Ontario Superior Court of Justice injunction issued late Friday afternoon. Traffic resumed just before midnight, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

CBS re-opening image
(Illustration: CBSA)

“Today, our national economic crisis at the Ambassador Bridge came to an end,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said in a statement.

“Now we must join together to come up with an actionable plan that will protect and secure all border crossings in the Canada-U.S. corridor and ensure that this kind of disruption to critical infrastructure will never happen again,” said Matt Moroun, chairman of the Detroit International Bridge Company.

“This week has shown the world just how much our shared economies rely on border crossings like the Ambassador Bridge. They are critical pipelines that supply the goods we need to keep our factories going, our neigbors working, and our economies thriving.”

But the challenges surrounding protests against pandemic-related restrictions continue. Protesters continue to block traffic in Coutts, Alta., and Emerson, Man., although police did limit the access of protesters at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont. this weekend.

The Ambassador Bridge typically handles more than 7,000 commercial vehicles per day, making it the busiest commercial link between Canada and the U.S. During the blockade, most trucks were diverted about 100 km away to the Bluewater Bridge in Sarnia, where delays lasted four hours or more.

Several automakers and other businesses had to scale back production due to limited parts supplies.

“Ninety-nine percent of the truckers out there right now are working their backs off to put food on our table, to make sure parts get to the factories,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday, noting that just five trucks were among personal vehicles blocking the Ambassador Bridge. “That [protest] is not representative of our truckers.”

With the state of emergency, Ontario introduced penalties including potential fines of up to $100,000, up to a year in jail, and licence seizures.

Close to 400 trucks continue to occupy downtown Ottawa in a protest now entering its third week.

More than 4,000 demonstrators were in the capital on Saturday alone, and counter protesters blocked some Freedom Convoy protesters as they tried to enter the downtown area. Police said aggressive and illegal behavior limited enforcement capabilities, but added that they managed a 300-vehicle convoy and a separate 20-km convoy of cars from Quebec on the weekend.

Ottawa’s Police Chief Peter Sloly has said the city will need 1,800 officers to address the occupation. This weekend, the police service joined Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP in establishing an integrated command center.

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  • So when canada border agents where without a contract and decided to take up to 12 hrs to get drivers across that was okay, but when it took 4 or 5 hour to clear trucks at sarnia that is a problem. What about next time UAW decides to strike and the feeder plants are shut down and truck driver won’t have work , will that be okay?

  • I support the Truckers and their determination for all Canadians to be free again and not just them. I understand the hardship downtown citizens of Ottawa must be facing but I hope they think of the rest of us who still face Mandates, Rules and More daily as they still do also.

    No Mandates and No Masks… We/I want our freedom back…..

  • A lot more truck drivers was upset about the lack of parking and how without hourly rate and overtime the e logs have their income and that they have to race the clock. I f we do not after these issues many more drivers will quit and non-profit end up feeding and housing disabled truck drivers.

  • Understand that the REAL protest is not about truckers! It is about trying to be sure they do NOT bring in mandates on our children! At least, it is for me! They cannot say that this there is no mandate from federals on children, YET!!!! And consider this, the best defence is a good offense!

    • Yes the majority are there about the mandate but a number of truck drivers are there about trucking issues like myself. We can do both at the same time.

  • We have all our rights and freedoms, the nasty little bunch with a definite dislike of rules intended to protect them and their families are trying to take away the majority rights and freedoms. Go home and use your freedoms to vote.

    • I am one of many homeless disabled truck drivers where should I go. I have never eaten so good someone is giving me a spot to shower and sleep as long as I and the homeless keep up with the protest