Judge Rules Protesters Must End Blockade of Ambassador Bridge at U.S.-Canadian Border

by Samantha Whidden

Less than a week after protesters formed a blockade at the Ambassador Bridge located on the U.S.-Canadian border, a judge has ordered those still on the bridge to end the event. 

According to AP News, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court announced on Friday (February 11th) that the protestors leave the Ambassador Bridge due to the event causing a disruption in the flow of goods between the two countries. It is also forcing the auto industry on both sides of the border to roll back production. 

It is not clear when or if law enforcement will be removing the protesters off of the Ambassador Bridge. Chief Justice Morawetz states that the order would be effective at 7 p.m. This gave the protestors time to leave the area. Meanwhile, Windsor police are warning anyone who is blocking the streets may be subject to arrest. 

The decision made by Chief Justice Morawetz came after nearly five hours in which Windsor officials and lawyers for auto parts makers argued that the blockade on the Ambassador Bridge is causing “undue economic harm” to both the city and region. The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has also issued a statement on Twitter telling the protestors that the unlawful activity has to end and it will end. “We heard you. It’s time to go home now,” Trudeau declared. He also wrote that everything is on the table for ending the blockades. 

As previously reported, the protestors on the Ambassador Bridge are fighting against the COVID-19 mandates and restrictions in Canada. The protest caused the bridge to close on Monday evening, but the Canadian side of the bridge reopened on Tuesday morning. The U.S. side remained closed until midday Tuesday. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Issues State of Emergency and Threatens Penalties to Those Interfering with Flow of Goods and People on the Ambassador Bridge 

Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford reportedly declared a state of emergency and even threatened heavy penalties against those who are interfering with the free flow of goods and people on the Ambassador Bridge. AP reveals that Ford will convene the provincial cabinet this weekend to urgently enact measures that will make it “crystal clear” it is illegal to block critical infrastructure. Violations could be a year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. “There will be consequences for these actions. And they will be severe. This is a pivotal, pivotal moment for our nation.”

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau states that Ontario’s decision is responsible and necessary. He has also spoken with President Biden about the situation.”We discussed the American and indeed global influences on the protest. We talked about the U.S.-based flooding of the 9-1-1 phone lines in Ottawa. The presence of U.S. citizens in the blockade and the impact of foreign money to fund this illegal activity.”

Trudeau also points out that the supports of the protests are using online platforms to donate to the protestors.