Truck convoy suspected of trying to block Ambassador Bridge intercepted, police say

Ambassador Bridge protest

Police in Windsor, Ont., say officers intercepted a transport truck convoy suspected of attempting to occupy a busy international bridge that was recently cleared of protesters.

Windsor police Chief Pam Mizuno says a convoy of six to seven trucks was stopped by officers about 250 kilometers from the city on Highway 401 within the past 24 hours.

Mizuno says the convoy was coming from Ottawa and turned around after being stopped by police.

On Sunday, police cleared a dayslong protest against COVID-19 measures that had blocked the Windsor side of the Ambassador Bridge, which connects the city to Detroit.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens signed an emergency declaration on Monday that effectively turned the main road connecting to the bridge into a thoroughfare from Highway 401, with limited vehicular access from side roads.

He says he has heard many complaints from business owners and residents in the area about the new traffic rules.

“We cannot ignore these ongoing threats because of the inconvenience that is being caused on Huron Church Road,” Dilkens said Wednesday.

He said there is no timeline to return traffic to normal due to the ongoing “national security operation.”

That decision, he said, will come from the “integrated law enforcement team” made up of local, provincial and national police officers.

“The reality is that the economic disruption that would be caused by another illegal occupation would simply be too staggering to bear,” Dilkens said.

Deputy Chief Jason Bellaire provided a few more details on the convoy that was purportedly set to occupy the bridge, but did not say where the incident occurred.

“They said they were heading to Ottawa, which you can’t get to by westbound 401, so they turned around and went the other way,” he said.

Hundreds of trucks and protesters remain camped out in Otawa as they have been for nearly three weeks.

Officials have described the impact of the protest in the capital as a “city under siege.” The local police chief resigned Tuesday after heavy criticism for his handling of the downtown occupation that left residents fuming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2022.