Saturday, April 1

Live coverage of the Ambassador Bridge blockade and COVID protests across Canada

Protests against COVID-19 restrictions are starting to threaten the economy. Here are the latest updates

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This week blockades inspired by the so-call Freedom Convoy that descended on Ottawa on Jan. 28, have closed three US-Canada border crossings, including the crucial Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, which is responsible for US$13.5 million per hour in economic activity, according to the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.


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The major auto plants in the region have been forced to pause lines because of a shortage of parts.

The demonstrations began as a protest against the federal government’s move to require that Canadian truck drivers crossing the US border be fully vaccinated. It has since evolved into a protest against all public health measures aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the disruption continues, fears grow about the impact this will have on the economy.

Here are the latest updates on what is happening today.

9:39 am

The Ambassador Bridge blockade is stoking a sentiment protesters most likely didn’t intend — American protectionism. Check out the tweet below from Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin.


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Slotkin was complaining because a General Motors plant outside Lansing is being starved of parts from Canada by the ongoing closure of the border crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ont.

“The one thing that couldn’t be more clear is that we have to bring American manufacturing back home to states like Michigan. If we don’t, it’s American workers like the folks at Delta Township who are left holding the bag,” Slotkin wrote in another tweet.

9:31 am

Ontario freezes protest’s funds

The Ontario government has moved to freeze $8 million going to the crippling trucker blockades in Windsor and Ottawa as local leaders continue to ask for help from all levels of government to end the protests.

Late Thursday, Premier Doug Ford’s government announced they had obtained a court order freezing the funds raised through GiveSendGo, an online fundraising platform that the truckers turned to when GoFundMe closed a previous effort. The GiveSendGo page indicated more than $8 million had been raised through the platform, but the protest convoy was also raising money through private transfers and through cryptocurrency.


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— Ryan Tumilty

9:03 am

Magna starting to feel the pinch

The CEO of vehicle-systems-maker Magna International Inc. said the Aurora, Ont. company is beginning to see “some initial impact” from the blockades.

“Some of the OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] customers have had to idle or they’re adjusting production schedules,” Seetarama Kotagiri told analysts during an earnings call on Friday. “We’re kind of starting to see some initial impacts in some areas versus the others, for example, facilities and so on. So we’re watching closely.”

Magna reported a 14-per-cent drop in sales to US$9.1 billion for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2021. It attributed COVID-19 disruptions and semiconductor shortages to the year-over-year decline.


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— Bianca Bharti

8:32 am

Super Bowl next target?

SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, which will host Super Bowl 56 between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. Homeland Security is warning trucker protest could disrupt the game.
SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, which will host Super Bowl 56 between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. Homeland Security is warning trucker protest could disrupt the game. Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile in America, police are being warned by Homeland Security that Canadian-style trucker convoys could disrupt the Super Bowl this weekend in Los Angeles, as well as President Biden’s first State of Union address.

A memo by the department, which oversees border controls, warns that truckers in the US may stage solidarity protests with the Freedom Convoy truckers in Canada, The Hill and other media are reporting.

The DHS memo said the department has received reports of truck drivers potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates, according to The Hill.

“The convoy will potentially begin in California early as mid-February, potentially impacting the Super Bowl scheduled for 13 February and the State of the Union address scheduled for 1 March,” according to the memo obtained by The Hill.


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The convoy of truckers plans to travel from California to Washington — and Canadian truckers may join — the memo notes. While there are no plans for violence, it warns of disruptions to major cities.

— National Post Staff

8:07 am

Update from Honda Canada

“Due to border delays, Honda of Canada Mfg. in Alliston, Ontario is scheduled to temporarily suspend manufacturing on one production line during the day shift on Friday, February 11. All Honda automotive manufacturing operations in the US are currently scheduled to run production on Friday, February 11. As this remains a fluid situation, we are monitoring the disruption of transportation between Canada and the US and will adjust production as necessary.”


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7:44 am


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is facing increasing pressure from US President Joe Biden’s administration to end the blockades at the border, convened a meeting of the Incident Response Group, a dedicated emergency committee on standby for national crises, on Thursday night, Politico reported. Trudeau then met with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens before assembling the leaders of the federal opposition parties for a meeting, the publication said.

7 am

It could be an eventful day on the blockade front as standoffs loom between protesters and government officials desperate to get the economy moving again.

Windsor, Ontario is seeking a court injunction to end the protest, setting the stage for a potential confrontation with demonstrators. A provincial court will hear the application at 12 pm ET today, a city spokesperson told Bloomberg. A court order would clear the path for police to make arrests or tow vehicles to clear the streets, if necessary, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said.

As of 6 am this morning, Canada border services were still listing the Ambassador Bridge, North America’s main land crossing in Windsor, as “temporarily closed.”

The US/Canada crossing at Coutts, Alberta, where another protest is going on, is showing seven-hour delays.

Additional reporting by Canadian Press, Reuters and Bloomberg



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