After trucks protesting vaccination requirements and other COVID-19 regulations temporarily blocked the busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada on Tuesday, Canadian MPs voiced growing concern about the economic impact of disruptive rallies.
The protests are also causing a stark ideological divide among Canadians. And, according to at least one survey, many Canadians are concerned that political unrest in the United States may spill over into their own nation.
The roadblock at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, kept some U.S.-bound traffic going, according to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who called the bridge “one of the most vital border crossings in the world.” It transports 25% of all cross-border trade between Canada and the United States. Such blockades, according to Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, will have major consequences for the economy and supply lines. “Automobile manufacturers and supermarkets have already contacted me.
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This is a legitimate cause for concern “He said this in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.
“Most Canadians recognize the distinction between being weary and sleepy as a result of the epidemic and passing into another world.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the demonstrators are “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy” in an emergency discussion in Parliament late Monday.
Despite the bridge delays, auto parts and other items continued to pour through the border Tuesday evening. Trucks, on the other hand, had to go nearly 70 miles north to reach the Blue Water Bridge, which connects Sarnia, Ontario, with Port Huron, Michigan.
Trucks crossing that bridge had a roughly three-hour wait, according to officials.
The trip will take more than five hours longer than usual in total. The demonstrators have no right to park automobiles in the middle of roadways, according to Flavio Volpe, head of the Canadian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association. Because trucker groups and huge logistics businesses have condemned the blockades, he wondered how many of the demonstrators truckers were. He described it as “essentially a group of anti-government provocateurs.”
According to Volpe, the demonstrations also pose a threat to fresh produce, animals, and other food supply. Because manufacturers are running low on component supplies and the supply chain is already fragile, even a five-hour delay can cause production delays, according to Jeff Schuster, president of the LMC Automotive consulting business in Troy, Michigan.
“Everything these days is so ‘just-in-time,'” he added. “We are still struggling with supply chain difficulties and general parts shortages. This is just another snag in the business that we are currently dealing with.” In Coutts, Alberta, protesters also shut down another vital US-Canada border crossing.