Automobile industry giant Toyota said Wednesday that its manufacturing plants that were affected by the Ambassador Bridge blockade are now back to normal operations.
“Yes, as of today, we have resumed normal production operations at the three U.S. plants and two Canadian plants that were impacted by this challenge,” Toyota spokeswoman Kelly Stefanich told The Michigan Star. “We plan to make up the lost production in the coming weeks as the supply chain stabilizes.”
The company declined to say how much revenue it lost during the blockade, which was conducted by the Canadian Freedom Convoy truckers and their supporters for all of last week.
“Unfortunately, we are not able to share estimates on lost revenue,” Stefanich said.
Automakers, who use Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, as the main transport route between the United States and Canada, were forced to ramp down production during the protest, costing an estimated $300 million in lost wages, and potentially tens of billions in lost revenue.
The protest at the bridge began Sunday, January 6. The bridge was impassable for seven days straight, even after an Ontario Superior Court Judge on Friday, January 11, levied an injunction ordering protesters to disperse or risk being arrested.
That injunction only drew more protesters to the site, and the assembled group stayed through the weekend.
Finally, negotiations and some arrests ended the blockade on Sunday evening. Traffic has been flowing freely ever since, though Freedom Convoy truckers continue to occupy Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital city.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the nation’s Emergencies Act, designated specifically for situations when the entire country is under threat. He declared without evidence that the protesters, who are motivated by COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, have not behaved peacefully.
He has also threatened to freeze bank accounts of anyone connected to the protests without a court order.
Some have noted that in 2021, when protesters in New Delhi, India, blockaded a highway for an entire year, Trudeau lent them his support.
“Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest,” he said at the time.
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