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

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

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

Phyllis Stenson, a mainstay of the local arts scene and the Harrison Festival of the Arts, passed away earlier this month. Stenson was crucial in setting up the foundation for relationships, funding and more that continue even now to echo well past her retirement in 2013. (Contributed Photo/Harrison Festival Society)
Harrison Festival, Fraser Valley arts icon Phyllis Stenson mourned

Stenson passed away in late November, leaving lasting legacy of passion for the arts behind

The Mission Christmas Bureau will run from Dec. 7-18. The bureau’s Wish Campaign has a long way to go to reach the $110,000 fundraising goal. / Submitted Photo
VIDEOS: Mission Christmas Bureau a long way from fundraising goal

This year the needs within the community are greater than ever due to Covid-19

The westbound lanes of Highway 1 between Clearbrook and McCallum roads were closed to traffic Wednesday morning after a fatal collision involving a pedestrian.
Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle on Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Collision takes place early Wednesday morning between Clearbrook and McCallum roads

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read