Canadian officials mount pressure on 'Freedom Convoy' protesters
The US has urged Canadian officials to use federal power to end the lengthy trucker protests.
The US is urging Canada to use federal power to end the trucker "Freedom Convoy" protests in the nation's capital. "Freedom Convoy" drivers can now be fined $100,000, jailed for a year, and have their trucks seized and licenses revoked after Biden urged Trudeau to get even tougher.
President Joe Biden has been kept up to date on the protests which have also expanded at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor, Ontario. The bridge is the largest international bridge suspension bridge in the world and links Ontario to Detroit, Michigan. The border crossing accounts for a fifth of all US-Canada commerce.
Automobile manufacturers and municipal governments are suing for an injunction to break the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge and an Ontario judge has barred protesters from receiving funding on the internet.
On Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Canada's federal police have approved the City of Ottawa's request for additional officers to quell the anti-government protest.
After the protesters were booted off GoFundMe for allegedly breaking its harassment policy, the truckers collected more than $8 million through the online site GiveSendGo.
According to a statement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office, which pursued the injunction, the order "binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations."
According to a White House official, US Secretaries of Homeland Security and Transportation communicated with Canadian officials on Thursday and urged them to utilize federal power to resolve the situation.
"We are principally focused on resolving the blockage at the Ambassador Bridge as well as other ports of entry," the official added.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called the blockade unacceptable, and Windsor Police tweeted additional support in order to "support a peaceful resolution."
For two weeks, a blockade has been at checkpoints at Coutts Alberta, next to the US state of Montana and at the border with Manitoba and the US state of North Dakota.
Toyota suspended production at 3 plants in Ontario, and production was halted at a Ford engine facility.
Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, stated component shortages impacted operations at its Ontario plant.
In Michigan, GM announced it canceled two production shifts at a factory that manufactures sport utility vehicles.
White House economic advisor Brian Deese said to MSNBC that the current administration is "working in real time to divert cargo - that's an imperfect solution - either by rail or by other bridges or by water."
Meanwhile, Ottawa police announced on Thursday that 25 people had been arrested and 1,775 tickets had been issued.
The Canadian Prime Minister is under pressure to concede to protesters' demands, including repealing government vaccination mandates for truckers entering Canada.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, a copycat demonstration may travel from California to Washington DC in the following days.