Ongoing Border Blockades Hitting Economy

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Downtown Ottawa on Monday night
Downtown Ottawa on Monday night

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Border blockades are the next step it appears in the ‘Freedom Convoy’ movement. The Canada / United States border crossing in Emerson Manitoba, Coutts Alberta, and the Ambassador Bridge have all seen blockades.

Update: The Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer is calling on Canada to immediately re-open the Ambassador Bridge. Governor Whitmer says that the closure is ‘unacceptable’ for Michigan families, businesses and it is ‘imperative that Canadian local, provincial and national governments de-escalate this economic blockade.’

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says, “The ongoing illegal occupation and blockade happening in Ontario must stop. The Ambassador Bridge is one of the most vital trade corridors in our country. The damage this is causing to our economy, to people’s jobs and their livelihoods is totally unacceptable. We cannot let this continue. I have spoken to both Mayor Drew Dilkense and Mayor Mike Bradley and told them the province is ready to provide any support we can offer.

“I remain confident that our police forces in Ontario, along with Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Border Services Agency, will take the appropriate steps to address the evolving situations in our cities and bring them to an end,” concludes Ford.

“The patience of drivers and the vast majority of the trucking industry regarding these blockades has long-since expired. The trucking industry and its drivers are paying a heavy price for the unlawful actions of those who choose to politicize and target our borders and highways and choke off trade between Canada and the United States. Their actions simply hurt Canadians and they have shown a blatant disregard for all the lives they are impacting,” says Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance states, “All Canadians have the right to peaceful protests. Individuals engaged in preventing vehicles from crossing into Canada and the United States are not ‘peaceful protestors’ as that term should not be applied to activities preventing the flow of essential goods by those who have illegally seized control and impede access to public infrastructure.

“The vehicle blockades spreading across border points and highways throughout the country are costing shippers and retailers significant losses while also impairing the hard work of truck drivers who continue to keep our essential goods moving throughout the supply chain during this critical time. Canadians should also keep in mind that many of these vehicles and individuals involved in the blockades are not operating heavy trucks or are associated with the trucking industry”.

“Drivers who are simply trying to make a living and get home to their families have been stuck at blocked border crossings for four to eight hours, many of whom have gone without access to washrooms or food,” adds Kaskowski.

“Many of those who are protesting having their lives disrupted by certain policies are, in turn, ironically disrupting the lives of their fellow Canadians,” says Laskowski. “Whether it’s the dedicated truck driver who’s stuck at the border and unable to get home to his or her family; or the factory worker who is sent home from work because critical products and raw materials aren’t being delivered, the only people who these blockades hurt are the hard-working Canadians who have kept our nation moving,” says Laskowski.

“This is simply not sustainable for the industry, its customers, and ultimately, the consumer.”

The CTA states, “To protect the health and welfare of the 300,000 truck drivers who are committed to moving Canada’s domestic and international trade – as well as the economic viability of all companies in the supply chain – CTA is calling on all levels of government across Canada to put an action plan in place to end current blockades and prevent future disruptions at our nation’s ports of entry and the critical road infrastructure leading to critical trade arteries”.

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