Canadian truckers have blocked the busiest border crossing into the United States as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to address Parliament today to discuss the escalating crisis.
Drivers calling for an end to COVID-19 vaccinations for professionals crossing Canada’s border with the United States first arrived in Ottawa on January 28 and gradually occupied the center of the Canadian capital.
As the police gradually regained control, protesters, many of whom are calling for Trudeau’s resignation, have turned their attention to the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor.
Truck drivers began blocking traffic late Sunday evening (local time) and the Canadian government website reported that the bridge was closed in both directions at 7:11 am (local time, 14.07 Greek time).
Canada ships 75% of its exports to the United States and trucks play a critical role in those deliveries. Approximately 8,000 trucks cross this bridge per day, reflecting the economic importance of this block.
“They sent us here to deliver a message, and the message is not going anywhere,” Tom Maratzo, a spokesman for protesters in Ottawa, told reporters last night.
Trudeau, who has been in self-isolation for 10 days after contracting COVID-19, is expected to return to the House of Commons to meet with lawmakers urging him to work harder to end what a councilor called a “national humiliation.”
However, his government says the police are expected to be able to restore order.
“These people are trying to undermine our economy, our democracy and the daily lives of our fellow citizens. This has to stop,” Trudeau said last night in an emergency debate in the House of Commons.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, facing growing public outrage, wants to mediate, but ministers have said he has no chance of success.
The protests in Ottawa, with the exception of some incidents, are peaceful.
On Saturday, former US President Donald Trump, during a rally in Conroe, Texas, expressed his approval of the actions of the protesters in Ottawa, saying that they are doing more to fight “lawless passports” and protect “American freedoms” than the US government.