Windsor trucker hopes for smooth ride with border reopening Monday

‘Everyone’s in the same boat. Relax, and things will flow smooth’

With the land border to the U.S. reopening Monday to fully vaccinated Canadians, making the crossing could become a bit more congested.

Giovanni Abati, a truck driver that lives in Windsor but goes into the U.S. frequently, said everyone just needs to be patient.

“Customs agents are trying to do their best. You can’t get upset with them. Can’t get upset with the people there. Everyone’s frustrated. I mean, we’ve been frustrated for, what, almost two years,” he said.

“So everyone’s got to just settle down. Take it easy. Everyone’s in the same boat. Relax, and things will flow smooth.”

Abati said it will likely take longer to make the crossing, not just because of the influx of non-commercial traffic, but because customs workers will have to be checking more documents.

“The border agents are going to be mandated to make sure you have the proper documentation, whether it’s digital or whether it’s a piece of paper,” he said.

Abati said that isn’t something he has to deal with personally because he is an essential worker, but he’ll be in the traffic with everyone else and suggested that those who can take the tunnel rather than the bridge might want to consider it. 

“I think the bridge is just going to be a mess because as truck drivers, we can’t use the tunnel right.”

Test may be deterrent

While many people have been complaining about the testing requirement to re-enter Canada, Abati said it may mean less traffic right away.

The bridge will be open to non-commercial traffic Monday. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC)

“That’s going to stop a lot of people going,” he said.

In the end, Abati said the border has always been a trouble-spot for truckers.

“It’s kind of a day-by-day every day because even without this situation, I mean, you’ve seen it if there’s a computer glitch, when either the Canadian side or the American side traffic’s backed up all the way up to the front,” he said.