Canadian judge authorizes police to remove truckers blocking Ambassador Bridge
Morawetz said the order would take effect at 7 p.m. Friday.
“It gives individuals the opportunity and the time to clear the area,” he said in the original ruling.
The Detroit-Windsor, Ont., span has been largely closed since Monday by Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ truckers, protesting a US-Canadian mandate that requires truckers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter one or the other country.
Calls for Canada to end the standoff grew among state and federal officials on Friday, while the province of Ontario declared a state of emergencyas its prime minister promised new legal action against protesters, including fines and jail time.
According to estimates by Anderson Economic Group, an East Lansing consultant, the traffic jam on the bridge cost $51 million in direct wages Michigan lost in its first week alone, a number he said would “rise at an accelerating rate” the longer the stalemate continued.
“With the industry already understaffed and production lines waiting for parts, any further disruption is very costly,” said Anderson Economic Group CEO Patrick Anderson.
General Motors closed several shifts at its vehicle production plant near Lansing this week due to parts shortages related to the closure of the bay that normally carries 8,000 trucks and more than $323 million worth of goods a day. . Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. halted some operations in Canada following the shutdown, while Honda planned to halt production on the assembly line at its plant in Alliston, Ontario.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, the bridge is the busiest international land border crossing in North America and accounts for nearly one-third of annual two-way trade between Canada and the United States, estimated at more than 600 billion dollars.
In response to the potential economic crisis, officials on both sides of the border are increasing pressure to end the standoff. The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge has also led to massive traffic backups earlier in the week at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron as truckers searched for alternative routes to Canada.
Canadian protesters also closed border crossings at Coutts, Alberta, across from Montana and Emerson, Manitoba, across from North Dakota.
On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she was urging U.S. and Canadian officials find a way to open the Ambassador Bridge.
“I obviously burned the phone line talking with people from the White House to the Canadian ambassador to our congressional delegation and some of the leaders of the Canadian government,” Whitmer said.