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Ambassador Bridge reopens as protests block other US-Canada border crossings

Commercial traffic resumes after police operation

The first truck reached the U.S. side of the Ambassador Bridge early Monday. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The busiest commercial crossing between the U.S. and Canada, the Ambassador Bridge, reopened late Sunday after police in Windsor, Ontario, cleared out a protest over COVID-19 restrictions that squeezed the cross-border supply chain for a week. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection processed the first truck to reach the U.S side of the border in Detroit at 12:30 a.m. Monday, the agency said in a tweet. As of 8:30 a.m, CBP and the Canada Border Service Agency reported normal operations on both sides of the border. 

The protest disrupted millions of dollars of trade and led multiple auto plants to slow production because of delays in receiving parts. Trucks used alternate crossings and at times faced hourslong delays, while some shippers turned to expedited airfreight and cargo van services. 

Police began an operation to clear the protest on Saturday with a force that included heavily armed police officers, including snipers, backed by tactical units and armored cars. Many protesters, including the few remaining heavy trucks, left. Around 20 people were arrested.

Two other border crossings — Coutts, Alberta-Sweet Grass, Montana, and Emerson, Manitoba-Pembina, North Dakota, remain closed because of protests. Protests also disrupted traffic leading to the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, and the Pacific Highway border crossing linking British Columbia to Washington.

Hundreds of trucks also remain in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, more than two weeks after the Freedom Convoy arrived. Over the weekend, the city and organizers reached an agreement for trucks to leave most residential areas.

Protest convoys have taken place in multiple Canadian cities. While the protests began in response to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, they quickly expanded to demand the end to just about all COVID-19 related-measures.

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  2. Richard M Rehmer

    It is sad that the government resorted to force rather than negotiation, but that is the new government for you Do As We Tell You or pay the price for defying us. What is sadder is that trucks are willing to deliver their freight rather than stand together. The economy is something that the government understands cut it off they should listen, but this time they just used force as Communist China and Russia do to solve their problems. Freedom is no longer a word the USA and Canada Government understands. For whatever reason, the leaders have forgotten that it is the people that elected them and they serve the people, not the people who serve them. Just like the Biden administration the Trudeau administration has committed political suicide

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]