PortandTerminal.com, October 18, 2020
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week suggested the border with Canada will remain closed for the foreseeable future
WASHINGTON/OTTAWA – The US/Canadian border has been effectively closed now for more than seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure has been extended month-to-month — the latest closure extension is due to expire on Oct. 21. This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear that he has no intention of reopening Canada’s border to US traffic anytime soon.
In an interview Wednesday on Winnipeg podcast The Start, Trudeau said Canada plans to keep the border closed as long as COVID-19 case counts in the U.S. remains high.
“We keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he said.
Even though many Canadians support the border closure, which took effect in late March, it has devastated the country’s tourism industry, separated loved ones and hurt border communities in both Canada and the U.S. It’s a sacrifice most Canadians want to see continued.
According to Reuters — which spoke with well-placed Washington and Ottawa sources last month — the U.S. had floated the idea of relaxing some border restrictions, but Canadian officials showed little enthusiasm.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is also warning Canadians not to fly to the U.S. even though the U.S. is welcoming Canadian air passengers. Conversely, Canada won’t allow Americans to enter for non-essential travel by any mode of transport unless they get a special exemption.
“People have to recognize that they’re putting themselves at risk, they’re putting their loved ones at risk.” he said. “The recommendation is to avoid non-essential travel, and that’s for people’s own safety.”
Regular Canadians and many Americans too for that matter agree that for now, the border needs to remain firmly shut.
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