This is when the Canada-U.S. border might open up again
When will the Canada-U.S. border open up again? This has been a question many have been asking as the border has been closed to non-essential traffic since March. But the deadline to open it up again is looming — and there are still plenty of unanswered questions.
The agreement to close the border is set to expire on May 21, but the Canadian government has yet to announce whether the border will actually open on that date.
And with the virus taking a brutal toll on our neighbours to the south — more than a million cases and 81,000 deaths to date — there is reason to proceed with caution.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the last official update on the Canada-U.S. border on April 17, when he said that it will remain closed to non-essential traffic until at least mid-May.
"Conversations are constant and ongoing," Trudeau said. "As I've said, we do not feel that reopening the border any time soon is likely."
"Conversations are constant and ongoing," says PM Trudeau when asked about discussions with United States re: timing of reopening of the border. "As I've said, we do not feel that reopening the border any time soon is likely," the prime minister tells reporters. #cdnpoli #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/7LWz2SlseJ— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) April 17, 2020
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has similarly avoided commenting on whether the border will open to all traffic, but she did say the border could soon experience an increase in essential traffic as the Canadian and U.S. economies begin to reopen.
"Inevitably, as our economies start to open up… we will see more travel across the border," Freeland said on Monday. "We'll see more Canadians choosing to go back and forth, and we'll see more business activity, which will mean more essential travel."
Canada's deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on the Canada-US border today:— Chris Ensing (@ChrisEnsingCBC) May 11, 2020
"Even absent a single change in Canada's border restrictions we will see more travel across the border."
"That does mean that the federal government will need to do even more at all of our borders." pic.twitter.com/JkZI0gjLcq
Several Canadian officials have made it clear that they're staunchly opposed to the border reopening, including Premier Doug Ford, who is "adamant" that it remain closed.
"I do not want those borders open," Ford said on Friday, adding that his counterparts in Quebec and B.C. feel the same way.
The bottom line? Canada has yet to give an exact date on when the border will open again, but it's unlikely to be anytime soon, if Ford and his fellow provincial premiers have their way.
As Freeland suggested, the border will become busier as more essential traffic begins to flow, but Canada will likely lobby to keep the U.S. border closed to non-essential traffic into June — and potentially well beyond that date.
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