How the trucker protest started
What began late last month as long-haul truck driver demonstration in Ottawa, Canada's capital, to protest vaccine-related border mandates imposed by the Canadian government has turned into an international affair with shutdowns of major gateways in Detroit and Port Huron between the U.S. and Canada.
In Detroit, traffic from Canada is open, but going into Canada over the bridge is a problem, especially for commercial traffic which has been rerouted to the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, about an hour away, which also has become congested.
Travelers and international commuters can still drive through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel.
Detroit auto industry Shut Down
So far, Ford completely shut down its Windsor engine plant and is now operating its Oakville Assembly plant in Ontario, where it makes Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus SUVs, at a reduced schedule.
General Motors has canceled two shifts at one Michigan factory and has been rerouting trucks.
And Stellantis has had to shorten at least one shift at Windsor Assembly Plant, which produces the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, because of a lack of parts.
Gov. Whitmer: Reopen traffic
Whitmer called on Canada on Thursday to take "all necessary and appropriate steps to immediately and safely reopen traffic so we can continue growing our economy, supporting good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for families."
The blockade, she said, is having "a significant impact" on "Michigan’s working families who are just trying to do their jobs."
"Our communities and automotive, manufacturing, and agriculture businesses are feeling the effects," she added. "It’s hitting paychecks and production lines. That is unacceptable."