Canadian Prime Minister declares national emergency, plans on removing vaccine mandate in coming weeks

Posted at 5:37 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 05:37:26-05

(WXYZ) — The Ambassador Bridge may be back open, but delays at other border crossings continue.

Last night in Port Huron,wait times for commercial truck traffic coming into the United States from the Blue Water Bridge was about 2.5 hours.

There are no delays this morning, but tensions continue to simmer in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared a national emergency, a first for the government.

Trudeau says he respects citizens' right to protest but not when it's impacting livelihoods and threatening people's safety.

He says right now the goal is to keep anyone from our side of the bridge from joining in and making things worse.

"After discussing with cabinet and caucus after consultation with premiers from all provinces and territories. After speaking with opposition leaders, the federal government has invoked the emergencies act to supplement provincial-territorial capacity to address the blockades and occupations," Trudeau said.

He says special attention will be paid to U.S. travelers crossing the border with the intention of joining the protests. Meanwhile, economic consequences continue to steepen.

The border closure caused nearly a $1 billion hit to the automotive bottom line like the suppliers and car companies like General Motors and Stellantis.

Officials in Ontario say they plan to give protesters what they want by dropping the vaccine mandate in a couple of weeks.

So far Windsor police say more than two dozen people have been arrested in connection to the blockade.