WINDSOR, Ont. (FOX 2) - As protests at the Ambassador Bridge continue to plague supply chains and trade access between Michigan and Canada, the mayor of Windsor has a clear to message to those planning to join the protests: you're not welcome.
Mayor Drew Dilkens spoke on Thursday as the blockade along the international crossing drags on while residents in Canada protest the nation's vaccine mandate.
Dilkens said the city council in Windsor has obtained an injunction to seek an end to the protests and, while they have a right to peacefully protest, they do not have a right to hinder the economy or trespass.
"The individuals on site are trespassing on municipal property and if need be, will be removed to allow for the safe and efficient movement of goods across the border," Dilkens said.
Saying he wanted a peaceful resolution, Dilks said additional resources are being sought as the economic impact the nation is feeling is not sustainable. He also urged anyone else considering attending the protest to turn around now.
"To those planning to join the protest: You are not welcome here," he said.
Dilkens did not say when the city would be appearing in front of the court but said he is confident the case would go in front of a judge on Thursday. He could not provide operational details for the removal of protesters but said they have the right to protest peacefully, even if he disagrees with where they are doing it.
"I don't agree with the individuals occupying the Ambassador Bridge, I do appreciate they are our neighbors," Dilkens said. "We need to appreciate that these demonstrators are our fellow Canadians and they have a fundament right to their views and their opinions. They don't have the right to affect you or your family's ability to earn a living and they've gone too far."
Dilkens also said the nation has a lot of healing to do from the pandemic but cannot start until traffic is reopened, allowing the economy to start to bounce back.
His statement comes the same day he told a Canadian radio station that the protest wouldn't last much longer.
"This is getting really tiring. Those folks need to go home," the mayor told a local radio station Thursday morning. "This will not last for long, that I can assure you."
While access to the Ambassador Bridge has remained partially open since demonstrators began disrupting traffic this week, "it really isn't" open to drivers for either direction of traffic, Dilkens said.
The consternation at the border is creating friction in an already strained business world as auto factories already hurt by a parts shortage must now contend with a complete blockage of one of the busiest trade terminals in the world.
On Thursday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer implored Canadian authorities to quickly resolve the closure due to its impacts on agriculture and manufacturing.
"The blockade is having a significant impact on Michigan’s working families who are just trying to do their jobs. Our communities and automotive, manufacturing, and agriculture businesses are feeling the effects. It’s hitting paychecks and production lines. That is unacceptable," read her statement.