A Canadian judge granted a court order Friday to remove protesters blocking the Ambassador Bridge at the main international border that links Canada and the US.
The order, granted in an Ontario court by Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz, set a 7 p.m. local time deadline to give protesters a chance to move on their own.
If they remain blocking the bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, police said they will move in and protesters could be arrested and their vehicles seized.
The injunction was brought to the court by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, with backing from the city of Windsor.
They argued successfully that the blockade was harming the economy of the city and the region.
The bridge is the main conduit for hundreds of millions of dollars in back-and-forth goods, particularly auto parts, carried daily by trucks.
The blockade disrupted the flow and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden were concerned about damage to the economies and job losses in both countries.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said the bridge closure resulted in a CAN$400 million ($314 million) negative impact daily on the Canadian economy.
The protesters were part of a large movement that was demanding an end to various coronavirus health regulations, including mandated vaccinations.
They began blocking the bridge Monday and other border crossing points in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta have also seen blockades.
Protesters also descended on Ottawa two weeks ago and virtually paralyzed the Canadian capital of 1 million.
A state of emergency was declared in Ottawa earlier this week as thousands of protesters and hundreds of trucks cause chaos in the downtown area.
Earlier Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency for the entire province.
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