Scores of drivers protesting Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions and venting their rage against liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have bottled up the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, disrupting the auto industry on both sides of the border. Hundreds more truckers have paralyzed downtown Ottawa over the past two weeks.
Premier Doug Ford said he will convene the provincial cabinet on Saturday to enact orders that make it “crystal clear” it is illegal to block critical infrastructure.
“Let me be as clear as I can: There will be consequences for these actions, and they will be severe,” he said. “This is a pivotal, pivotal moment for our nation.”
Federal, provincial and local authorities have hesitated to forcibly remove the self-proclaimed Freedom Convoy protesters there and elsewhere around the country, reflecting apparently a lack of manpower by local police, Canada’s reverence for free speech, and fear of violence. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens warned earlier this week that some of the truckers are “willing to die.”
While the Canadian protesters are decrying vaccine mandates for truckers and other COVID-19 restrictions, many of the country’s infection measures, such as mask rules and vaccine passports for getting into restaurants and theaters, are already rapidly being lifted as the omicron surge levels off.