(File photo)

(File photo)

U.S.-Canadian border closure reportedly could extend through November

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21

The U.S.-Canadian border closure to non-essential traffic, which is currently set to expire next week, could be extended through Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters Canada reported Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Citing “well-placed,” but unnamed sources in Washington D.C. and Ottawa, Reuters reported that the border could remain closed through at least the end of November.

The story also said that Canadian officials showed little interest in relaxing some of the restrictions currently in place anytime soon in spite of suggestions to do so from their American counterparts.

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21 in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 between the neighbors. The closure, initially set to last a month, has been since extended five times and is currently set to expire on Monday, Sept. 21.

But this time, authorities are looking to extend the closure by two full months, as one source told Reuters “this is probably going to have to extend through at least until American Thanksgiving (Nov. 26).”

Stories coming out of Canada suggesting many north of the border are in favor of keeping the border closed while the U.S. continues to struggle with getting new COVID-19 cases and related deaths under control.

Research Co. published results of a poll conducted Sept. 1 that found that 90% of 1,000 Canadians asked would like to see the border remained closed to non-essential travel.

Last week, CTV reported that a group of Canadian mayors from cities located near the border called for the federal government to continue prohibiting non-essential travel between the two countries.

In an unscientific Facebook poll with the story, CTV asked readers if they when they thought the border should reopen — next year, it should be open now or wait until there is a vaccine. The post has been commented on 2,200 times, shared 377 times and drew 13,233 votes as of Monday afternoon, Sept. 14, and found:

  • 6.8% of people who responded (895) want the border open now.
  • 34.2% of people who responded (4,522) want the border to remain closed until there is a vaccine.
  • 58.1% of people who responded (7,686) want the border closed until next year.

Economic impact

Despite trade and commerce being allowed during the border closing, both countries’ economies rely heavily on one another, and that is definitely seen here in Whatcom County.

The Western Washington University Border Policy Research Institute has found that Canadians comprise approximately 75% of cross-border travelers to and from Whatcom County, depending on the exchange rate, according to information Director Laurie Trautman emailed to The Bellingham Herald. In 2018, that would have represented approximately 10.5 million southbound Canadian travelers through the Blaine, Lynden, Sumas and Point Roberts points of entry.

Those Canadians represent a large portion of consumers in Whatcom County — anywhere from 2% to 46% of the weekend customer base Whatcom County retailers see, Trautman reported, adding that the average is about 17%.

B.C. update

According to the British Columbia COVID-19 dashboard, the province has seen 7,279 total cases during the pandemic and 219 confirmed deaths as of Monday. It also shows that the number of daily cases has dramatically increased since mid-August and the total number of active cases in the province is 1,594.

More than half of the total cases (3,754) are in the Frasier Health Authority, which borders Whatcom County. The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority accounts for 2,557 cases.

With a population of approximately 5.1 million, British Columbia is averaging 142.7 cases and 4.3 related deaths per 100,000 residents.

For comparison, the Washington State Department of Health reported 80,138 confirmed cases and 2,006 related deaths on Monday. With a population of approximately 7.5 million, the state is averaging 1,068.5 cases and 26.7 deaths per 100,000.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

Helma Swinkels, left, from Bibi J’s is all smiles as she makes her first donation under the new business name to Ellen Frood from Alberni Community and Women’s Services (ACAWS). In 18 sales days, Swinkels was able to donate $3,000 to the transition house. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Bibi J’s in Port Alberni makes first donation to non-profit

Alberni Women and Community Services to benefit

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced that Red Deer and other rural locations would soon be getting doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (photography by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
EDITORIAL: Leading by example

Those in leadership roles need to follow the restrictions they impose on others

Melissa Martin from the Rollin Art Centre holds two paintings from the Rollin Art Centre’s permanent collection: an original portrait painted by the late Robert Aller, and a mixed media piece called ‘House’ from Peggy Larson that was part of Aller’s private collection. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre to re-open February 2

Newest exhibit will feature some pieces from permanent collection

Rik Abel has opened Rik’s Picks, a vintage record shop on Johnston Road. (TERESA BIRD / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni businesses get innovative during pandemic

See what’s new in the Port Alberni business community

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read