Trudeau says US land border could open by summer
Justin Trudeau: Border stays closed until US controls COVID-19
The U.S. and Canadian border will likely stay closed past the current closure agreement which expires on Oct. 21.
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “perhaps” by summer the land border between the United States and Canada will be reopened to non-essential travel.
He was reacting to a pitch by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York to get things moving again, saying “we can’t wait any longer” for the re-opening.
“The extensions confuse people and they frustrate thousands of western New Yorkers and Southern Ontarians, who depend on the border crossing,” Schumer said.
The cross-border ban, in effect now for more than a year, is continued monthly in a bid to combat the virus.
Canada is content to leave things in place, with Trudeau saying: “Now is not the time to travel.”
Schumer made his case for things to “start re-opening “quickly but safely” in stops along the border in Niagara Falls, N.Y. and at Massena International Airport near Cornwall, Ontario.
He is looking to allow certain vaccinated people to cross, including boaters if they’re not docking and to prioritize getting border workers better access to testing and vaccines.
“Once the time is right, we will open up the borders again properly,” Trudeau said.
Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Winn-Dixie, Walmart offer walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations
Vaccine Success Story
An offer by U.S. states to give thousands Canadian truck drivers free single-dose COVID-19 vaccinations has become a huge success.
The first to offer was North Dakota that is giving its surplus vaccines to immunize cross-border trucks and other essential workers from Manitoba including teachers and school workers.
Now Saskatchewan and North Dakota have joined the party along with Alberta and Montana.
Vaccination sites have been set up a highway truck and rest stops along the Canada-U.S. border with special approval to cross over for a shot and return to Canada the same day.
News in brief
— Canada’s labor market lost 207,000 jobs last month as the jobless rate rose to 8.1 percent from 7.5 per cent in March. Statistics Canada said the numbers would have been even worse at 10.5 percent had they included those who wanted to work but didn’t bother looking for a job. Ontario had the biggest drop at 153,000 while nationally losses were higher in full-time work involving retail and young workers.
— Quebec outdoors people can again head to the woods and lakes as the provincial government is allowing overnight and day camps to reopen this summer. This follows last year’s canceled season due to the pandemic. Health rules will require campers to test negative for COVID-19 before they arrive and a few days later. Vaccinations are also being provided for camp counsellors as young as 16. The government has said children as young as 12 will have access to at least one dose of vaccine by the end of June.
— Mounties didn’t hand out any fines at the first road checks to ensure drivers were making only essential trips in British Columbia. The first roadblocks went up at Manning Park, near Hope, and no one was turned around. Motorists breaking stay-at-home travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order. “We want people to stay home until the pandemic is over,” said Corporal Chris Manseau.
Facts and figures:
- Canada’s dollar is higher at 82 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.21 Canadian before exchange fees.
- The Bank of Canada key interest rate remains at 0.25 percent while the prime lending rate is 2.45 percent.
- Canadian stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto index up at 19,472 points and the TSX Venture index down slightly at954 points.
- The average price for gas in Canada is higher at $1.31 a liter (Canadian) or $4.97 for a U.S. gallon.
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Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com