Canada’s Ambassador Bridge set to reopen Sunday as trucker protest clears
Officials are securing Canada’s Ambassador Bridge ahead of a planned reopening sometime Sunday, after Canadian police arrested the remaining demonstrators early Sunday, the White House said, citing a number of conversations between senior officials on both sides of the border in recent days.
“The updates they received indicate that most protestors have been cleared from the Ambassador bridge, barriers are being removed, and the corridor is being secured,” White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall said in a statement.
“Canadian authorities are taking proactive steps to ensure no further unlawful disruption of the flow of people and goods occurs. Individuals trespassing on property located on the road to the bridge will be cited for trespassing and their vehicles will be towed,” it added.
“Canadian authorities intend to reopen the Ambassador Bridge today after completing necessary safety checks.”
Protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Canada first blocked traffic at the major bridge, between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, on Feb. 7. It quickly began to disrupt the auto industry and cross-border trade.
Truck drivers involved in the protests bucked a court order on Friday calling for an end to the days-long blockade.
Canadian police moved to clear out demonstrators Saturday, and vehicles reportedly began leaving the area around 10 a.m., with some holdouts refusing to leave and singing “O Canada,” the Canadian national anthem.
Police arrested and removed the remaining protesters early Sunday.
Canada’s so-called “Freedom Convoy” protests were spurred by COVID-19 vaccine mandates on cross-border truckers, but has grown to encompass other anti-vaccine and anti-government groups. It has also inspired like-minded protests across the world, and warning of similar demonstrations beginning in the U.S. in the coming days.
Sherwood-Randall also said she spoke with Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas on Saturday to discuss how the consequences of the protests, and response to them.
“We discussed the widespread damaging impacts the obstructions have already had on the lives and livelihoods of people in both our nations and the imperative of taking swift, strong action and deterring future blockades,” she said.
The Ambassador Bridge, linked from Detriot, Mich to Windsor, Ontario, is one of the key border crossings for the U.S. and Canada.
Updated at 7:03 p.m.