Government Memorandum Shows Ambassador Bridge Blockade Costs Significantly Less Than Fed Announces

According to internal government documents, the costs incurred when the Ambassador Bridge was blocked earlier this year were far lower than the amounts officially announced by the federal government.

and Press conference On February 14, when the federal government invoked the state of emergency law, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that protests blocking the crossing from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit cost the Canadian economy 400 million dollars a day. He said he suffered a loss of nearly a dollar.

“The Ambassador Bridge blockade impacts about $390 million in trade each day,” Freeland said. “The bridge supports her 30% of overland trade between Canada and its most important trading partner, the United States.”

“These costs are real,” she said. while also referring to The impact of the blockades at the Coutts, Alberta and Emerson, Manitoba border crossings. “They are threatening businesses large and small. Just as we are all working hard to recover from the economic damage caused by COVID, they are threatening the livelihoods of Canadian workers. increase.”

Epoch Times photo
Treasurer Chrystia Freeland will appear as a witness before the House Finance Committee in Ottawa on October 3, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

The Ambassador Bridge blockade lasted for six days, from February 8th to February 13th. The protest is one of many inspired by the Freedom He Convoy protests that he began in late January against federal demands against all truck drivers crossing the Canadian-US border. You should be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Police cleared the Ambassador Bridge before the Cabinet invoked the emergency law. Ontario’s Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on February 11 and threatened protesters that he would be fined $100,000 and imprisoned for up to a year.

actual loss

According to a memo issued by the Federal Department of Transport on February 11 and obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter, the economic impact claim of “approximately $390 million in trade per day” is based on the previous year’s losses, not actual losses. It represents the average value of commercial shipments. for blockade.

“[The Bridge] Processed over $140 billion in commodity transactions in 2021. That’s about $390 million every day,” the memo is entitled, “Background to the Impact of Roadblocks on the Ambassador Bridge.”

“The cost to the Canadian economy of a complete closure of the bridge will be in the range of $45 million per day for the first week based on current mitigation efforts undertaken by shippers and alternative options available. presumed to be probable.”

The memo notes that from February 7 to February 10, the Ambassador Bridge blockade “diverted traffic to nearby intersections” in Sarnia, Fort Erie, and Queenston, Ontario.Additionally, an estimated $45 million loss per day [assuming that] The automotive division will be closed,” but it wasn’t.

The memo also provided examples of “extreme cases” where impacts could reach $86 million to $161 million per day. That’s less than half the number quoted by the federal government.

“This scenario assumes that import-export disruptions across the Ambassador Bridge will lead to widespread shutdowns and production halts across Canada’s economy,” the staff wrote. That scenario never happened.

In April, the federal government announced More than $2.5 million will be provided to compensate the more than 200 Windsor business owners affected by the lockdown. Eligible companies can receive up to $10,000 in irredeemable funds to cover their losses.

According to another federal memo obtained by Blacklock’s, applications for the compensation fund were low, with only 60 people applying for payments totaling $462,469.

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based reporter for the Epoch Times.