Biden to Trudeau: Hey Pal, use your power to end the bridge blockade

How serious is Sleepy Joe about encouraging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do what he can to end the truck blockade of the Ambassador Bridge? He put Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on it. They spoke with their Canadian counterparts and urged them to help resolve the standoff. That should do it, right?

No. Those two are some of the least effective cabinet members in the entire Biden administration and that’s a pretty low bar. Mayorkas can’t secure the southern border so how is he a good person to play frontman for Biden in the Freedom Convoy blockade dilemma playing out on the Ambassador Bridge? How about Buttigieg? Well, he was on paternity leave as the California coast filled up with containers of goods meant to be shipped around the U.S. Do either of these two clowns inspire confidence? I think not. Nonetheless, Biden is desperate and who knows who decided to put Mayorkas and Buttigieg out front on this? No one really thinks Joe Biden is making decisions in the White House on pretty much anything.

The Ambassador Bridge connects Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan. The Freedom Convoy has blocked its lanes going out of Canada as well as into Canada from the United States. Truckers not participating in the protest over COVID-19 mandates by the Canadian government are in a tough spot. They are trying to continue working and they have goods to move. The blockade of the bridge, a major point of entry on the northern border, is slowing commerce in a time when the supply chain is already disrupted. More than 90% of the truckers are fully vaccinated.

This is the fourth day of the blockade on the Ambassador Bridge. Let me say upfront, I am opposed to blocking public roads, including bridges, as a form of protest. I’m against it whether it is Antifa and Black Lives Matter or if it is anti-mandate truckers. It’s a public safety risk that ordinary people suffer from if, for example, medical transportation is hindered or law enforcement can’t get through to victims of crime. Let the truckers surround Canadian Parliament and allow emergency traffic to get through, that’s fine. Blocking an international bridge is a different matter. I did hear a report on BBC yesterday that included the reporter saying the truckers are allowing medical vehicles through and trucks with livestock, so perhaps unnecessary risks can be avoided in this case.

Trudeau isn’t a strong leader, to put it mildly, having fled Ottawa in the beginning of the protest. Other Canadian politicians, both liberal and conservative, are moving forward with whatever they can do.

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.

We’ll see if GiveSendGo is able to continue to allow fundraising for the truckers. We know that GoFundMe caused a kerfuffle when it shut down a fundraising campaign on its site.

The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest U.S.-Canadian border crossing. It carries 25% of all trade between Canada and the U.S. Auto manufacturers were immediately affected by a lack of parts and some have shut down, at least some shifts, to adjust to the disruption. Both Canadian and American assembly plants are affected. Michigan Governor urged Canadian officials to move quickly to resolve the standoff. She said, “It’s hitting paychecks and production lines. That is unacceptable.” That’s kind of ironic coming from Whitmer who shut down her state in some of the most draconian moves of any state. How many businesses went under during her mandated lockdowns? How many Michigan workers found themselves sitting at home instead of going to work during the lockdowns?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and Business Roundtable released a joint statement.

To get around the blockade and into Canada, truckers in the Detroit area have had to drive 70 miles north to Port Huron, Michigan, and cross the Blue Water Bridge, where there was a two-hour delay leaving the U.S.

The blockade is happening at a bad time for the U.S. auto industry. Supplies of new vehicles already are low across the nation because of the global shortage of computer chips, which has forced automakers to temporarily close factories.

“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 U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and Business Roundtable said in a joint statement.

“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.”

Truckers in America and in Europe are talking of forming their own convoys against government mandates, too. The Biden administration is concerned about any possible disruptions in L.A. during Super Bowl weekend. The Department of Homeland Security is “surging additional staff” to the Super Bowl in case reports of truckers planning to block roads in major cities, which could begin this weekend, proves to be true. There is also talk that truckers may organize a convoy and go to Washington in time for Biden’s State of the Union address.

So far, Trudeau has proven to be as feckless against the convoys as Biden has been about securing the southern border. In the meantime, the truckers don’t seem to be letting up in their energy to protest.

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