Canadian officials are warning that trucker protests against COVID-19 rules will disrupt the flow of goods and exacerbate problems in the supply chain.
Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair told reporters that a protest at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Ontario is particularly worrisome because a quarter of all Canada-U.S. trade moves through that one crossing, according to the CBC.
The outlet reports that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products have been held up for three days because dozens of trucks are blocking a main road near the bridge.
“I believe it is very serious and potentially grave. It is already having a huge impact on Canadian industry and Canadian workers,” Mr. Blair said. “We’ve seen the criminal acts, acts of thuggery and the obnoxiousness that they’ve inflicted on the people of Ottawa. Now they’re blocking the highways leading into our ports of entry. They’re putting their foot on the throats of all Canadians.”
Some labor unions said auto plants have sent workers home from Windsor, Ontario, plants because they don’t have needed parts from the U.S., according to CBC.
Economic upheaval is the latest frustration for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is struggling to bring the trucker protests to an end.
The protest started as a demonstration against vaccine rules on truckers but has broadened into a general protest of COVID-19 measures.
Some Ottawa residents are supportive of the truckers, but others say they are fed up with constant horn-honking and blockages in the capital.