Increased border traffic likely as Canada, U.S. economies reopen: Freeland

The ban on non-essential travel is set to expire on May 21

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada and the U.S. are working on plans to deal with what she calls an inevitable increase in cross-border traffic as economies in both countries emerge from their pandemic-induced comas.

Freeland says traffic over the shared border is bound to increase as states and provinces reopen shuttered businesses and ease restrictions on personal mobility, even if the current Canada-U.S. ban on non-essential travel remains unchanged.

That agreement, which has allowed essential workers and trade shipments to continue to move back and forth between the two countries, was first imposed in March and is set to expire on May 21.

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border restrictions extended another 30 days

Freeland says discussions about when and how to begin easing those restrictions are ongoing, both between Canada and the U.S. and between the federal government and the provinces.

She says Canada will adhere to the same prudent and sensible approach that has guided it throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

And she says the premiers “by and large” share the same cautious view as the federal government.

“Inevitably, as our economies start to open up … even absent a single change in Canada’s border restrictions, we will see more travel across the border — we’ll see more Canadians choosing to go back and forth, and we’ll see more business activity, which will mean more essential travel,” Freeland said.

“That does mean that the federal government will need to do even more at all of our borders to keep Canadians safe and well, and that is something that we are working on right now, and we’re very focused on.”

On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made crystal clear how he feels about the prospect of allowing visitors to Ontario from the U.S., where COVID-19 has exacted a brutal toll: more than a million active cases and 81,000 deaths to date.

“I do not want those borders open,” Ford said, noting that his counterparts in Quebec and B.C. feel the same way.

Screening at airports and border crossings will need to increase “tenfold” once the restrictions are lifted, he added.

READ MORE: As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaCoronavirusUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Visitors and non-residents entering closed Hesquiaht territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

Median maintenance planned for Johnston Road

Drivers can expect delays on Friday, Aug. 7

ALBERNI GOLF: Stewart beats out Rasmussen in a count back

40 members came out during the B.C. Day long weekend

LOOK BACK: Shave and a haircut in 1912

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

ARTS AROUND: Exploring nature with summer art camps

The Rollin Art Centre in Port Alberni is hosting summer art camps for children

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read