An aerial photo made with a drone shows the closed Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River that links the United States and Canada on Friday. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The Ambassador Bridge between the United States and Canada is set to reopen Sunday as police continued to arrest "Freedom Convoy" protesters, the mayor of Windsor, Ontario, announced.
"Today, our national economic crisis at the Ambassador Bridge came to an end," Mayor Drew Dilkens said in a statement issued late Sunday morning. "Border crossings will reopen when it is safe to do so and I defer to police and border agencies to make that determination."
Dilkens issued the statement after police on Saturday began enforcing a judge's order to remove anti-COVID-19 mandate protesters who have blocked the bridge connecting Windsor and Detroit for nearly a week.
The protests have shut down the bridge, disrupting auto companies by blocking trucks from moving auto parts between the countries. The Bank of Canada warned protesters Wednesday that continuing to block the border crossing will hurt the supply chain.
Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz granted an injunction Friday ordering a clearing of the bridge and police began enforcing it the next day, when around 100 protesters still remained.
"Several arrests" were also made early Sunday, Windsor police said in an update. The arrested persons, they said, are all facing a charge of mischief.
"Multiple vehicles" within the demonstration area were also seized, they said.
The protesters blocked the bridge in conjunction with a much larger protest in the Canadian capitol of Ottawa, where there have been 26 arrests made on criminal charges, including two additional arrests for public intoxication.
Dilkens told CBC News police are hoping to have the bridge open by late Sunday or first thing Monday morning.
"Canada is nation that believes in the right to freedom of speech and expression, but we are also bound by the rule of law," he said in his statement.
"Elected leaders, myself included, will be judged in the fullness of time on how we responded to the COVID-19 public health crisis. As the virus mutates, our response has, and must continue to evolve.
"As Canadians, there is more that unites us than divides us and we must all find the resolve to approach those who hold different views with tolerance and respect.
"Illegal acts, blockades and hate speech must not be tolerated and should be denounced," the mayor added.