Tensions stemming from protests spearheaded by Canadian truck drivers over the country’s Covid-19 mandates have been simmering in recent weeks, so much so that traffic at key US transit points has ground to a stop and a judge has temporarily banned demonstrators in the nation’s capital from using horns.
For nearly two weeks, Canadian truckers have been protesting a new rule that requires them to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or face a two-week quarantine in their homes after they return across the US-Canadian border. Others have joined to rally against mask mandates, lockdowns, restrictions on gatherings and other Covid-19 preventative efforts in the country.
Demonstrations have popped up across Canada, including at the Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit and is the busiest international crossing in North America. Idling trucks and vehicles impeded access to the bridge for a third day Wednesday, snarling traffic on both sides of the border.
“When the border crossing of this magnitude – almost a third of all traffic between our two countries crosses here – and when it closes down, it has an immediate and material impact on the economies of our both nations,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night.
Some protesters have been loud – so annoyingly loud that a lawsuit is demanding an end to the deafening honking unleashed by the truckers in downtown Ottawa, Canada’s capital, where residents have endured the near-constant noise in their homes.
Zexi Li, who lives within five blocks of protests at Parliament Hill, sued to demand an end to the beeping. Sound levels from the air and train horns are “dangerous and cause permanent damage to the human ear” and cause “significant mental distress, suffering and torment,” the lawsuit filed by the 21-year-old says.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean on Monday issued a 10-day injunction that prevents demonstrating truckers on downtown Ottawa streets from using air or train horns. A hearing is set for next Wednesday.
Mayor Jim Watson described the constant honking of large trucks as “tantamount to psychological warfare” and wrote in letters to federal and provincial officials earlier this week that, “People are living in fear and are terrified.”