Ambassador Bridge reopens, Coutts remains closed

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

One of the nation’s busiest border crossings reopened late Sunday following a days-long protest against COVID-19 measures some characterized as an “illegal occupation” at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge.

Traffic was flowing normally across the bridge between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit for the first time in nearly a week, the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed just before midnight Sunday.

“The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can confirm that travellers and commercial carriers are now being processed entering Canada at the Ambassador Bridge port of entry,” said Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, a spokeswoman for the agency.

Windsor Police have posted a tweet requesting that people not call their 911 Communications Centre for information regarding the reopening of the bridge, saying those lines need to remain open for emergencies only.

The bridge sees hundreds of millions of dollars in imports and exports cross it each day, and politicians on both sides of the border decried the economic impact of the protest.

Protestors removed

Police removed protesters from the site earlier Sunday, making more than two dozen arrests and drawing praise from Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.

“Today, our national economic crisis at the Ambassador bridge came to an end,” he said in a written statement.

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to all law enforcement personnel involved for their determined, yet compassionate approach to the occupation.”

Officers moved in after the Ontario Superior Court granted an injunction Friday barring protesters from blocking the bridge.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz is expected to publish the reasons for his decision to grant the injunction this week, but during the hearing Friday, he said the protesters’ right to freedom of expression had to be balanced against everybody else’s right to use the bridge.

Nonetheless, protests at other border crossings continue.

On its website, the CBSA says the crossings in Coutts, Alta., and Emerson, Man., remain temporarily closed.