DETROIT (FOX 2) - As the blockade on the Canadian side of the Ambassador Bridge drags on, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling on Canadian authorities to shut down the blockade and reopen traffic.
In a statement released on Thursday, Whitmer said Canadian authorities need to quickly resolve the closure as it has severe impacts on Michigan's economy including the auto industry, agriculture, manufacturing, and more.
While the Ambassador Bridge is technically open, by all accounts the remaining access available to drivers traveling from Canada into the U.S. is also shut down. Windsor Police said the Bridge is not closed U.S. Bound, but "the presence of demonstrators are making it difficult to access the bridge."
Canadian Police can't forcibly remove the protesters and the longer it goes, the more it increases delays for automakers. Whitmer said this will stifle the state's growing economy:
"My message is simple: reopen traffic on the bridge.
In Michigan, our economy continues to grow because of our hardworking people and innovative small businesses. Now, that momentum is at risk. Commercial traffic is at a standstill at the Ambassador Bridge and heavily backed up at the Blue Water Bridge.
The blockade 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. It’s hitting paychecks and production lines. That is unacceptable.
The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest land border crossing in North America, used by tens of thousands of commuters and truck drivers carrying hundreds of millions of dollars of goods every day. Countless Michiganders rely on this daily flow of goods and people to get things done.
It is imperative that Canadian local, provincial, and national governments de-escalate this economic blockade. They must 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."
Canadian Police and officials are working to resolve the protest of the nation's COVID-19 restrictions. The Ambassador Bridge is one of the most-traveled routes between the two countries, but it remains partially closed with only some traffic coming into the U.S.
"We are urging all motorists to avoid both access points to the bridge. All those attempting to cross the Ambassador Bridge should expect significant delays," wrote Constable Talya Natyshak, a member of the Windsor Police Service's Corporate Communications Unit.