Ontario premier declares state of emergency to help end Ambassador Bridge blockade

Friday marks fifth day of demonstrations blocking Ambassador Bridge

Ambassador Bridge

ONTARIO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday announced measures to help end the Ambassador Bridge blockade.

Ford spoke publicly at 10:30 a.m. Friday (Feb. 11) as demonstrations blocked traffic on the Ambassador Bridge for the fifth straight day.

“Today, I’m using my authority as premier of Ontario to declare a state of emergency in our province, and I will convene cabinet to use legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure,” Ford said.

You can watch Ford’s full news conference below.

A convoy of truck drivers formed to protest the Canadian government’s mandate requiring everyone to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to cross the border into Canada. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens are among the many stressing the importance of ending the blockade.

“My message is simple: Reopen traffic on the bridge,” Whitmer said Thursday. “In Michigan, our economy continues to grow because of our hardworking people and innovative small businesses. Now, that momentum is at risk. Commercial traffic is at a standstill at the Ambassador Bridge and heavily backed up at the Blue Water Bridge.”

Dilkens said he’s seeking an injunction that would allow him to end the “illegal occupation” of the bridge. He asked demonstrators to leave voluntarily, but added they will be forced off the bridge, if that’s what it comes to.

“We can’t just let this lawlessness continue to happen,” Dilkens said. We respect that everyone has a right to protest. It’s a hallmark of democracy. That is OK. What is not OK is choking off the busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada and affecting tens of thousands of families and their ability to put food on their table.”

With the Ambassador Bridge blocked, travel to and from Canada from Michigan has been difficult. Heavy traffic at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron caused truck drivers to wait in miles-long lines.

Here is Ontario Premier Doug Ford's full Feb. 11, 2022, briefing on the Ambassador Bridge blockade.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.