A major bridge between Canada and the U.S. has been shut down as the “Freedom Convoy” of Canadian truckers continues to protest Canada’s vaccine mandates.
The protesters are standing up against the Canadian mandate that requires truckers who cross the border between the U.S. and Canada to be vaccinated, WDIV News reported.
The truckers’ protest, which called itself the “Freedom Convoy” started in late January and has shut down Ottawa.
The convoy has now also blocked traffic and effectively shut down Ambassador Bridge, the bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Canada.
The backup of traffic began Monday afternoon and continued overnight, leaving thousands of truckers sitting on I-75.
Eventually, the Michigan Department of Transportation closed the bridge and told drivers that they should use the Detroit-Windsor tunnel or go to the Blue Water Bridge that enters Sarnia, Ontario, from Port Huron, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Large trucks are unable to pass through the tunnel and the Blue Water Bridge route potentially adds several hours of driving, Jalopnik reported.
The route between Windsor and Detroit is important for trade since about 27 percent of all trade between the U.S. and Canada uses that stretch of road.
Gregg Ward, the president of Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, told the Detroit Free Press that this kind of shutdown at the border is unprecedented. Ward has been in the business of trucking goods across the border for 30 years.
Ambassador Bridge is an important crossing point for trade. A lot of industries rely on the goods crossing the border, especially the auto industry in Detroit.
“They usually get (their goods) just on time. It all depends on how much inventory they had, and if they anticipated this,” Ward said.
“I know there was an expected slowdown, I would bet most people didn’t think there would be a complete closure,” he added.
But truckers do not give any sign of backing down from this protest, even though they are just sitting on I-75.
“Can’t get upset,” one trucker told WDIV. “I’m not the only guy stuck out here. Fortunately, I do have a sleeper cabin. I feel bad for those drivers that don’t have that option.”
However, other truckers, even if they do support the protest, think this kind of backup is just not helpful.
“I’m triple vaccinated, and I’m pro-vaccine, but I’m anti-mandate. It’s time that the mandates are over. It’s time that the people travel freely across the border on both sides,” Paul Leland, another trucker, said.
But he added, “I can understand people fighting for certain rights, but this is not going to solve anything.”
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