Canadian Trucker Protests Snarl an Already Hobbled Auto Industry

A larger fear for many elected officials and business executives is that the scene at the Ambassador Bridge could inspire other protests. The Department of Homeland Security warned in an internal memo that a convoy of protesting truckers was planning to travel from California to Washington, D.C., potentially disrupting the Super Bowl and President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

“While there are currently no indications of planned violence,” the memo, which was dated Tuesday, said, “if hundreds of trucks converge in a major metropolitan city, the potential exists to severely disrupt transportation, federal government operations, commercial facilities and emergency services through gridlock and potential counter protests.”

Mr. Chiodo, the Canadian union leader, said that “the people who are demonstrating are doing it for the wrong reasons. They want to get back to the way things were before the pandemic, and in reality they are shutting things down.”

The scene in Ottawa remained a raucous party Thursday, with hundreds of people on the street, many wearing Canadian flags like capes. The song “Life Is a Highway,” by the Canadian musician Tom Cochrane, pumped from loudspeakers set up on the back of an empty trailer that had been converted into a stage.

But there was a thinning out of protesters — with some empty spaces where trucks had been the day before.

Johnny Neufeld, 39, a long-haul trucker from Windsor, Ontario, said the vaccine mandate would spell the end of his job transporting molds into the United States since he had chosen not to be inoculated out of fear the shots had been developed too quickly. He got his first ticket from the police Thursday morning, a fine of 130 Canadian dollars (about $100) for being in a no-stopping zone.

“This is a souvenir,” he said.

Dan Bilefsky, Neal E. Boudette, Vjosa Isai, Catherine Porter and Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting.

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