Gowling WLG team behind injunction against Ambassador Bridge blockades

15 March 2022

A team of Gowling WLG lawyers were instrumental in obtaining and continuing an injunction against blockades of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario.

Jennifer L. King, Bevin Shores, and Michael Finley acted for the City of Windsor in securing the injunction, which restrains individuals from establishing a blockade, or in any way impeding access to, the vital Canada-US trade corridor.

The Ambassador Bridge, which spans the Detroit River between Ontario and Michigan, carries roughly one-quarter of Canada's trade with the US – an estimated $450M CAD daily in goods – between the two countries, according to The Globe and Mail. A protest at the entrance to the bridge in Windsor began on February 7, impacting Windsor residents and local businesses.

The City of Windsor as party intervener and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA) as representative plaintiff sought the initial injunction, which Ontario Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz granted effective 7 p.m. on February 11.

Despite the Court order, the blockade remained and the demonstration increased in size, with numbers peaking at between 600 and 800 individuals on February 12. Police operations opened access to the bridge by the morning of February 14, maintaining an elevated presence in the area and setting up traffic controls to protect access to the bridge.

The Gowling WLG team worked closely with city officials to bring the matter back before the Court, seeking to extend the injunction on behalf of the City of Windsor. Chief Justice Morawetz granted a continuation of the injunction on February 18, extending it indefinitely.

"This matter truly highlighted our firm's depth and breadth of experience advising and representing municipalities in complex litigation," says Jennifer. "Our client required decisive action, and we were proud to support the City's timely and effective efforts to enforce its by-laws and protect the interests of the citizens of Windsor."

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