Truck blockades of Canada's capital and U.S. border crossings, including the economically vital bridge to Detroit, have forced the shutdown of a Ford plant.
The company warns the protests could have widespread implications for the North American auto industry. Canada has been beset in recent weeks by protests against COVID-19 restrictions and against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Canada-bound traffic was halted at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, while U.S.-bound traffic was still moving. Ford says parts shortages forced it to shut down its engine plant in Windsor and to run an assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, on a reduced schedule.
Ford said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press, “This interruption on the Detroit-Windsor bridge hurts customers, auto workers, suppliers, communities and companies on both sides of the border.” The statement continued saying, “We hope this situation is resolved quickly because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the U.S. and Canada.”
More Canadian provinces have moved to lift COVID-19 precautions as the surge of the omicron variant starts to level off. As the Associated Press reported, somewhere around 90% of truckers in Canada are vaccinated and many big-rig operators and associations have denounced the ongoing protests.