The United States federal government is pressuring the Canadian government to end the trucker protest against vaccine mandates and force may be used to do it.
The protest is affecting auto plants on both sides of the United States and Canadian border and that is affecting the economy, The Associated Press reported.
The White House said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with their Canadian counterparts and urged them to help resolve the standoff.
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Royal Canadian Mounted Police reinforcements are being sent to Windsor, Ottawa and Coutts, Alberta where another border blockade is happening.
Trudeau met virtually with leaders of Canada’s opposition late Thursday and said he spoke with Windsor’s mayor. Trudeau’s office said there is a willingness to “respond with whatever it takes” to end the blockades.
Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford, meanwhile, moved to cut off funding for the protests by successfully asking a court to freeze millions of dollars in donations to the convoy through crowd-funding site GiveSendGo. Ford has called the protests an occupation.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have asked the Canadian government to “to use federal powers to resolve this situation at our joint border,” a White House official said.
“US and Canadian border and customs authorities are working with great urgency to ensure the continued flow of goods and services across our international border, leveraging alternative land routes, as well as air and sea options,” they said.
And the Canadians are responding to the pressure by searching for ways to stop the protest.
“The economic harm is not sustainable and it must come to an end,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, whose city is seeking a court injunction to end the protests, said.
“[If] the protesters don’t leave, there will have to be a path forward,” he said to CNN. “If that means physically removing them, that means physically removing them, and we’re prepared to do that.”
“It may be gratifying for someone to see the forced removal of the demonstrators, [but] such action may inflame the situation and certainly cause more folks to come here and add to the protest, and we don’t want to risk additional conflict,” he said.
General Motors has begun canceling shifts at its Lansing, Michigan plant due to the protests, which means the protests are effective, The New York Times reported.
A Ford spokesman Said Deep, said that the company is reducing staff for shifts at two of its plants in Ontario.
“This interruption on the Detroit-Windsor bridge hurts customers, autoworkers, suppliers, communities and companies on both sides of the border that are already two years into parts shortages resulting from the global semiconductor issue, Covid and more,” he said. “We hope this situation is resolved quickly because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the U.S. and Canada.”