Ongoing protests cause concerns about US-Canada trade

Canadian lawmakers are expressing increasing worry about the economic effects of disruptive COVID-19 demonstrations.

The busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada, the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, has been partially blocked by trucker protesters since Monday. The bridge carries 25 percent of trade between the two countries.

A busy border crossing between Alberta and Montana had been completely blocked for several days last week, but protesters eventually agreed to allow vehicles through.

Demonstrators have used hundreds of parked trucks to paralyze areas around Parliament since Jan. 29. They have said they will not leave until all vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Speaking in an emergency debate late Monday in Parliament, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the pandemic "sucks" but called for an end to the protests.

"Canadians have the right to protest, to disagree with their government, and to make their voices heard. We’ll always protect that right. But let’s be clear: They don’t have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop," Trudeau said.

Ottawa Police say they have made more than 20 arrests and issued more than 1,300 tickets.

Police say 25% of the 418 trucks parked in the strets near Parliament have children living in them. There are no plans to remove the children from the trucks, but police say they’re working with the Children’s Aid Society to ensure the children’s welfare and safety.