Trudeau non-committal around reopening of Canada/US border

Jul 13 2020, 10:23 am

After announcing in June that the Canada/US border would remain closed until July 21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that he had spoken with President Trump about what the next steps may look like around the reopening process, as the deadline nears.

“We recognized that the situation continues to be complex in the US in regards to COVID-19,” said Trudeau during his daily briefing.

“Every month we have been able to extend the border closures to all but essential goods and services, and those discussions are ongoing with the United States right now, as we are a week from the next deadline for closures.”

When asked what his thoughts are around extending the closure beyond the July 21 deadline, Trudeau said he and his US counterpart “pledged to continue to monitor closely the situation that is constantly evolving.”

The situation, he said, is one that is “rapidly evolving, and therefore we need to keep responding to the situation on the ground.”

As such, Trudeau said the federal government “will be discussing with our American partners what the next steps should be, and we will have more to say later this week, I’m sure.”

In the meantime, he added, “we’re going to continue to work hard to keep Canadians safe and to work hard to keep our economies flowing.”

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In March, all non-essential travel was closed along the border. However, trucking and trade were not affected, as maintaining commerce between the two countries was deemed essential for Canada’s economic recovery.

At the time, Trudeau said the border would be closed for as long as it needs to be.

On June 8, Trudeau announced an exemption allowing families in Canada to reunite with their loved ones who have not been able to enter the country from the US due to the pandemic.

On its website, the Canada Border Services Agency announced “foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.”

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