On Thursday, President Joe Biden’s administration urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use governmental powers to end the peaceful trucker demonstration protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates after the group blockaded the Ambassador Bridge connecting the U.S. and Canada.
According to The Associated Press, the White House said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with their Canadian counterparts and insisted the Canadian federal government shut down the peaceful protest.
A White House official told CNN that the Biden administration is monitoring the protest “very closely” as it threatens supply chains and may cause other major disruptions.
“We know that a number of companies and industries are seeing significant impacts from these disruptions. The Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Council, Department of Transportation and the National Economic Council are working collaboratively — including with their Canadian counterparts at all levels — to rapidly develop a set of options that match current industry demands — including alternative routes and other scenario planning,” the official said.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and Business Roundtable also issued a joint calling on the Canadian government to “act swiftly” against the peaceful protesters.
“The disruptions we are seeing at the U.S.-Canada border — at the Detroit-Windsor Ambassador Bridge and at other crossings — are adding to the significant supply chain strains on manufacturers and other businesses in the United States,” the joint statement read.
“We respectfully urge the Canadian government to act swiftly to address the disruption to the flow of trade and its impact on manufacturers and other businesses on both sides of the border.”
“So the truckers aren’t backing down,” tweeted journalist Ezra Levant, along with video of the paralyzed bridge. “All Ottawa courts would do is end the honking. The Coutts and Milk River blockade probably have 5,000 people in the middle of the prairie. And now the single most important bridge in North America is locked down.”
Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford successfully requested that a court freeze over $8 million in donations gathered for the protesters via the Christian crowd-funding site GiveSendGo.
In response, GiveSendGo posted on Twitter that the company vows to give the funding directly to the protesters.
“Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo,” the company tweeted. “All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”
Biden’s Department of Homeland Security is bracing for a similar protest in the United States. The agency warned law enforcement and other public safety officials nationwide this week that a trucker convoy protesting COVID-19 mandates may start on Feb. 13.
The warning states that “the convoy could severely disrupt transportation, federal government, and law enforcement operations through gridlock and potential counterprotests,” according to senior law enforcement and documents first obtained by Yahoo News.
The DHS said it “has received reports of a convoy of truckers planning to potentially block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates for truck drivers,” and issued the warning to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Former President Donald Trump issued a statement last week praising the Freedom Convoy’s peaceful protests in Canada, and said that a convoy of American truckers is “thankfully” planning to travel to Washington to protest President Biden’s coronavirus restrictions, as well.