LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on Canadian officials to reopen traffic on the Ambassador Bridge Thursday.
For several days, Canada has been dealing with a dispute over COVID-19 vaccination mandates in Ottawa.
Truckers took to the streets, blocking traffic to show their discontent, and, since Monday, many truckers blocked the flow of traffic on the Ambassador Bridge. Traffic over the bridge is responsible for about a quarter of all trade between the United States and Canada.
“My message is simple: reopen traffic on the bridge," Whitmer said. "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 detour over the Blue Water Bridge adds additional travel time, and congestion over that bridge has resulted in hours-long waits for drivers.
“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," Whitmer said. “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."
Delays to the north are having an impact in mid-Michigan as well. General Motors has been forced to slow production and even cancel shifts on Thursday.
“It is imperative that Canadian local, provincial, and national governments de-escalate this economic blockade," Whitmer said. "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.”
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