Border traffic was on the rise prior to blockades, CBSA data shows

Cross-border truck volumes were on the rise in the week before blockades began to form, the latest Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) data shows.

Officers processed 106,274 truck drivers from Jan. 24-30, up from 97,321 the previous week. There were 134,972 non-commercial travelers, up from the 119,434 seen from Jan. 17-23. The 9% increase in commercial travelers lagged behind the 13% increase in non-commercial travelers.

The commercial totals were also down slightly from the 110,588 truck drivers who crossed the Canada-U.S. border from Jan. 24-30, 2020, before the pandemic was declared.

Bluewater Bridge
(File photo: istock)

Groups protesting an array of pandemic-related restrictions began to block traffic at the border crossing with Coutts, Alta., on Jan. 29. A blockade at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., ran Feb. 5-13, before police cleared the area. An injunction against that blockade was issued Feb. 11.

Other blockades took hold in Emerson, Man., and Surrey, B.C., while this weekend protesters also slowed highway traffic leading up to the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont.

Canada introduced a vaccine mandate for border-crossing truck drivers on Jan. 15, mirroring a rule introduced by the U.S. on Jan. 22.

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