Ambassador Bridge blockade threatens US Canada trade

The Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit, Michigan in the United States and Windsor, Ontario in Canada. In terms of trade volume, it is the busiest international border crossing in North America: more than 25% of all merchandise trade between the United States and Canada passes through the bridge.

Yesterday (8th) afternoon, a truck driver went to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, to hold a demonstration in solidarity with truck drivers in Ottawa. That blocked the two-way traffic on the bridge. Yesterday morning, transportation to the United States began to reopen to a limited extent. Still, the U.S. entry point into Canada was closed by U.S. border agents.

The total freight value on the Ambassador Bridge is very significant daily. Whether it is fruits and vegetables, auto parts and household appliances, all rely on this vital border. The traffic of trucks promotes trade between Canada and the United States.

Federal Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra said yesterday that the blockade of significant traffic roads, including the Ambassador Bridge, would seriously impact Canada’s economy. At present, the fruit and vegetable materials entering Canada from the United States are affected by the blockage of the bridge.

Vehicles heading to the United States can use the Wyandotte St. West entrance, police said. But traffic along Huron Church Road, which connects to the bridge, is still congested. Drivers were asked to avoid that particular area and use an alternate route.

The Ambassador Bridge is recognized as the busiest land border crossing for international commerce in North America. At the same time, as a large-scale demonstration of truck drivers broke out in Ottawa, many demonstrators also came to the bridge to show solidarity, obstructing the typical passage of the bridge.

Transportation Minister said that he had provided help to the provincial government. Still, the demonstrations near the “Ambassador Bridge” are a security issue that the local government and the Ontario government need to solve. It happened just before the border, so now it’s still a municipality and a provincial jurisdiction.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the Ambassador Bridge is a critical trade crossing point between Canada and the United States. Many essential service workers, including frontline healthcare workers, rely on it to commute, and police are on the scene to ensure traffic safety.

The Ambassador Bridge operator, Detroit International Bridge Corporation, called on the authorities to act quickly to resolve the chaos. The Michigan Department of Transportation advised Canadians to take a ferry from Port Huron to Sarnia, Ont.

On Monday, Ontario Provincial Police issued a statement telling drivers to avoid the area and use the Bluewater Bridge in Sarnia to travel to the United States. Windsor police said more than 100 demonstrators were still stranded on the bridge earlier yesterday. Still, no arrests were made, and the situation continued to be monitored.

In addition, demonstrators in southern Alberta also blocked the Coutts crossing again on Monday night. Many trucks and other vehicles have been parked and stranded on the highway since February 5. That results in many passengers and cross-border truck drivers being unable to move. It has been like that for several days.

Regarding the protracted demonstrations of truck drivers, several federal ministers said yesterday (8th) that most Canadians may feel unbearable about the epidemic. Still, they do not agree with the extreme views of the demonstrators because these people have made Canada The capital was paralyzed for more than a week.

Late Monday, the federal government, Ontario government and Ottawa Mayor Watson held a tripartite meeting to discuss a solution. Watson asked the federal and Ontario governments to send 1,800 additional police officers, an amount nearly equal to the number of officers in the entire Ottawa police force.

Ottawa currently spends between $1.8 million and $2.2 million a day to control protesters. Mayor Watson hopes to pass all the costs on to a higher level of government when things are over. The Ottawa City Council voted Monday on a petition calling on the federal government to take responsibility for public safety in the congressional area.

Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo, an American crowdfunding site, took over the fundraising effort for the team. In a statement, GiveSendGo said it had reached out to protest organizers. And they received full assurances that the funds would only be used to provide humanitarian aid and legal support. It does not tolerate violence of any kind. The fundraising site was blocked by PayPal last year for raising money to support the rioting mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 last year.

The owner of a supermarket said: “So far, we haven’t seen the impact, but if it lasts for one or two weeks, it will affect our downstream. 90% of the goods purchased by the supermarket from upstream wholesalers come from the United States, Mexico and other countries. We can make up for the lack of goods from the local area, but there is no way for vegetables and fruits. I remember that the heavy snow last time blocked the traffic, and our goods could not come in, which caused the price of some food to rise.”

He added: “Everyone feels that food prices generally rise after the winter. One of the main reasons is transportation problems. Border epidemic prevention restrictions, rising gasoline prices, and stormy weather have significantly increased transportation costs.”

Another owner engaged in the wholesale of goods said: “This demonstration of truck drivers will definitely have an impact on the supply market, because 90% of our food transportation is carried by trucks. If 20% of the drivers strike, it will have a great impact on freight. ”

“In fact, long before the demonstrations, the freight problem during the epidemic had already appeared. First, the freight was relatively high. In the past, the transportation cost from the United States and Mexico to Canada was 6,000 to 7,000 US dollars, and now it has risen to 9,800 to 10,000 US dollars. Second, food such as fruits and vegetables does not have long shelf life. Once the transportation is delayed, it will not arrive in time, and the food will deteriorate. It will cause a series of problems. In short, it depends on the future development of the demonstration. If the situation further deteriorates, Although there will not be a situation where the goods cannot be delivered, delayed arrival or insufficient supply will definitely be transmitted to the downstream, resulting in a round of price increases.”

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