Live Updates: Day 5 of US-Canada border trucker blockade; Ontario declares emergency

Border protests thwart auto suppliers, truck drivers

WINDSOR, ON - FEBRUARY 09: Protesters against vaccine mandates with trucks and other vehicles adorned in signs and Canadian flags gather on ON-3 near Ambassador Bridge on February 9, 2022 in Windsor, Canada. Protesters have shut down the bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario since Monday. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images) (Matthew Hatcher, 2022 Getty Images)

DETROIT – As demonstrations by truck drivers protesting Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate stretched into its fifth day on Friday, wreaking havoc at the US-Canada border, a judge has ruled that they should leave -- or be removed.

A judge on Friday ordered protesters at the Ambassador Bridge over the U.S.-Canadian border to end the 5-day-old blockade that has disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries and forced the auto industry on both sides to roll back production.

It was not immediately clear when or if law enforcement officers would be sent in to remove the demonstrators, who parked their pickups and other vehicles in a protest against the country’s COVID-19 restrictions and an outpouring of fury toward Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.

As of Thursday, the Ambassador Bridge was basically deserted. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a statement Thursday calling on Canadian authorities to resolve the Ambassador Bridge closure.

“I’m not weighing in on the substance, I’m not going to get into Canadian government policy, but the fact of the matter is this is compromising and jeopardizing many jobs in the state of Michigan,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

On Friday, Canadian media reported that protestors would re-open one lane of the Ambassador Bridge as an “act of good faith,” but that did not happen. Ontario Premier Doug Ford is declaring a province-wide state of emergency.

More: Canadian officials threaten ‘severe’ consequences for protesters blocking Ambassador Bridge

The bumper-to-bumper demonstration by the self-proclaimed Freedom Truck Convoy entered its fourth day Thursday at the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, disrupting the flow of auto parts and other products between the two countries. Similar delays were reported at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.

More: Windsor seeking injunction to end blockade

While the Ambassador Bridge remains closed, traffic has been successfully re-routed to the Blue Water Bridge. And while there are still delays, it’s not the 10-mile backup that we saw Wednesday (Feb. 9).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted out that he has been in a series of meetings in what he refers to as the illegal blockades and occupations and that it must come to an end.

It’s not just the politicos calling for an end to this business group on both sides of the border that are calling on the Canadian government to end this now.

Ford, GM, and Stellantis are already feeling the effects.

“It’s a deteriorating situation, and the longer it persists, the longer it’s going to be to make up for any lost production,” said Matt Blunt, the American Automotive Policy Council President.

Follow live updates from Local 4 on traffic and other US-Canada border developments below:


About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.