Update (1340ET): More than 48 hours into protesters blocking the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit, there are new warnings the auto industry might come to a “screeching halt” this week.
“Basically, if there’s a shutdown of transportation routes, the auto industry comes to a screeching halt in about two days,” Robert Wildeboer, executive chairman of Martinrea International Inc., said Tuesday on BNN Bloomberg Television.
Martinrea is a major auto parts manufacturer based in Vaughan, Ontario. It manufactures engine blocks, transmissions, cases, housings, suspensions, chassis components, and body paneling for automotive companies in Detroit.
“We have 38 trucks cross at the Detroit border per day and 16 in Sarnia,” Wildeboer said. Since protesters have shuttered the border crossing, it appears Martinrea’s ability to cross into Detroit has become challenging.
So far, Martinrea’s shares trading in Toronto has yet to react to the disruption.
“A closure of the bridge would be catastrophic for the Canadian economy,” Brian Kingston, president, and chief executive officer of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, told Bloomberg. “It’s responsible for approximately 25% of our goods trade, it is far and away the most important border crossing between Canada and the U.S.”
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A group of protesters have blocked one of the busiest international land border crossings in Canada – the Ambassador Bridge which links Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, for the second day in a row.
As the CBC reports, “Dozens of demonstrators lined Huron Church Road, which feeds traffic to the international crossing from Highway 401, with trucks and vehicles starting Monday afternoon and into Tuesday morning with local police asking people to avoid the area.”
As of Tuesday morning, Police announced in a tweet that one lane of US-bound traffic is open.
“I’m here for my kids, just to get it back to normal. They haven’t played hockey, it’s been a disaster. Just end, give us back what we need to live again. Trudeau, Doug Ford, just listen to us,” said Sam Kovak of Woodslee, Ont.
“”I was in Ottawa the past two weekends, all the people I talked to were vaccinated. It’s got nothing to do — just give us our freedom back,” he added. “Now we’re in the exact same position two years ago, my kids are still sitting at home, my wife is still sitting at home.”
“We’re sorry, but we have to make a stand.”
The Ambassador Bridge is one of the busiest international land border crossings in Canada and a major route for transport trucks.
Access to two schools on Huron Church Road near the bridge is limited Tuesday, prompting the Catholic school board to send a notice to families Tuesday.
Police are asking students and parents to avoid the road, and access the schools from California Avenue.
“The Windsor Police have assured that they have no concerns for student or staff safety at this time. They will have two police officers at the school to assist us with the situation this morning,” the memo read. –CBC
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Following the tactics used by Canadian truckers in Ottawa, a growing number of trucker-inspired protests appear to be gaining momentum worldwide—with groups in the Netherlands, Austria, the United States, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand forming.
The Ottawa protest, known as the “Freedom Convoy,” aims to do away with Canadian COVID-19 vaccine mandates, namely for truckers crossing the U.S.–Canada border. On Sunday evening, the mayor of Ottawa declared an emergency, while police started making arrests and seizing the truckers’ fuel.
In New Zealand, truckers reportedly launched a convoy from both the North and South Islands. They are slated to converge at the country’s capital, Wellington, according to the New Zealand Herald.
One of the truckers, who only called herself Jess, told the Toronto Star that she is attempting to organize a trucker protest in New Zealand, which has some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the world, because “her country needed to hear the call to stand up.”
She confirmed that the two groups will converge in Wellington in the near future after communicating with truckers via social media.
Farm vehicles joining the trucker convoy protest against COVID-19 mandates parked in Ottawa on Feb. 5, 2020. (Courtesy of Simon Alary)
“I think you’re starting to see what will become a big global movement to end these mandates,” Brian Brase, co-organizer of the U.S. protest, told Fox News on Sunday, referring to vaccine requirements.
“It’s a violation of your human rights to be mandated to take this vaccine. If you want it, go get it, but being mandated to get it, we’re standing up against that. We think it’s wrong.”
Last week, organizers of a U.S. freedom convoy criticized Facebook after the social media giant removed a page organizing protests. The truckers told Fox News that they were planning to drive from California to Washington, D.C.
Truckers in the United Kingdom will also demonstrate against mandates in a Glasgow suburb and will drive to Edinburgh, the capital, before heading to London, organizers told the Scottish Daily Express newspaper. Freedom Convoys will also depart in the English cities of Manchester, Exeter, Bristol, and Bournemouth, as well as in cities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.
In the Netherlands, according to the local NL Times, dozens of trucks and other vehicles gathered in Leeuwarden to protest local COVID-19-related mandates and restrictions on Sunday. A video posted by the “Freedom Convoy Nederland” showed the group.
Protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 mandates gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway at the U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Feb. 2, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh)
Elsewhere in Europe, Aram Lemmer, a business owner and organizer in Austria, told the outlet that he got commitments from about 2,500 vehicles to drive to Vienna, the capital, to protest against mandates. Recently, Austria passed a law that will mandate vaccinations for all eligible people aged 18 and older or they’ll face hefty fines.
And police in the Australian Capital Territory say they expect crowd sizes for the “Convoy to Canberra” to peak on Feb. 8 when Australia’s Parliament resumes. Protesters led by truckers are expected to gather outside Parliament House.
It comes as Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency on Sunday, alleging a “serious danger” posed by the trucker protest. Protest organizers say their movement is peaceful.
“IMPORTANT: Anyone attempting to bring material supports (gas, etc.) to the demonstrators could be subject to arrest. Enforcement is underway,” Ottawa police also said in a statement on social media Sunday.
The decision was panned by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a group representing the truckers.
“In a free and democratic society that is governed by the rule of law, citizens can freely associate with each other, including the giving and receiving of goods and gifts. There is no law that would allow the Ottawa Police to arrest people for giving fuel or food to another Canadian,” Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms lawyer Nicholas Wansbutter said in a statement.
Truckers Block Windsor-Detroit Border as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe Announces End of Vaccine Mandates
by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
The Canadian Trucker Freedom Convoy entered its 11th day today, as two border crossings from Canada to the U.S. were closed down by protesters.
Rebel News is reporting that the Alberta – Montana border at Coutts has been closed again, this time by farmers.
The border crossing in Alberta was not the only border closed down overnight, however, as the bridge between Windsor and Detroit was also blocked and shut down.
Ian Miles Cheong of Rebel News reports:
The Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, Michigan has been completely blockaded by a convoy of trucks protesting the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which remains ongoing in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.
Efforts by the Freedom Convoy further in the north spilled over to the border crossing, the largest international suspension bridge and a major transportation artery between the United States and Canada as protesters blocked traffic on Monday evening.
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Gregg Ward, the president of Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry said that the bridge closing is unprecedented and that the last time the bridge closed for a protest was in 1990.
Meanwhile, back in Alberta, Pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested, again, as he tried to join the protesters in Coutts. Rebel News is reporting that he was arrested by an undercover SWAT team that had staked out his home in Calgary.
In Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe announced today that all proof of vaccine mandates in Saskatchewan will end this coming Sunday.
He did not reference the Truckers Convoy, but instead used the excuse that the COVID-19 vaccines were “not effective” in stopping transmission of the current variant, Omicron, and that therefore the mandates are no longer needed.
Since he erroneously stated that the vaccines were effective for past variants of COVID-19, he obviously left the door open to issue mandates again in the future, and of course never mentioned just how deadly these shots are, especially for children. In fact, his Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, followed his remarks by encouraging children to get one of the deadly shots.
However, Premier Scott Moe said it was “time to heal” and time for people in Saskatchewan to come together and stop judging their neighbors and others in their community for having differences of opinion on the wearing of masks and getting vaccines.
Will this announcement now pave the way for the rest of the Canadian Government to end vaccine mandates while still “saving face” and not referencing the Trucker Convoy protests?