Convoy of freedom: nearly $ 7 million in compensation paid to Windsor
The City of Windsor, Ontario will receive compensation from Ottawa of up to $6.9 million to cover costs associated with the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, a vital link in US-Canada trade, last February.
The infrastructure that connects Windsor to Detroit and on which $ 400 million in goods circulate each day had been paralyzed by anti-sanitary measures demonstrators associated with the “freedom convoy”, causing significant expenses for the City.
« Its closure posed serious risks to public safety, harmed Canada’s economy and risked our reputation as a reliable trading partner, » the Department of Public Safety said Thursday.
The amount granted will make it possible in particular to absorb a little more than $5 million spent to pay the municipal police officers supervising the demonstrators. Nearly $1.5 million was also spent on legal costs by the City, whether to obtain an injunction against the demonstrators or to be represented at the Commission on the state of emergency.
“The expenses incurred to resolve this national economic crisis were unplanned and should not be borne by municipal taxpayers. I would like to sincerely thank the Minister [de la Sécurité publique Marco] Mendicino and the federal government for providing the necessary funds to fully cover the costs associated with the reopening of the Ambassador Bridge,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said in a statement.
According to the “Windsor Star”, the costs incurred by the City could however spend the $ 6.9 million granted Thursday. The police estimate in particular that they have $500,000 in legal fees that have not yet been taken into account, while the City’s lawyers’ bill also continues to increase.