Both countries have shut down all cross-border travellers to visitors, vacationers and for anyone or anything over than essential commercial reasons.
A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted March 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
(A Note from Doug Draper – Since I posted this commentary earlier this March 18th, I have heard mixed reports about 9/11 and whether or not the land crossings between the U.S. and Canada may have been closed to at least some traffic for a matter of days after the attacks. If anyone out there has more definitive information on that, please share it in the comment area below this post.)
Canadians and Americans have collectively called it “the largest undefended border in the world.”
In normal times, countless hundreds of thousands of people from both countries cross it each day.
But as has been sinking in for all of us in recent weeks, we are no longer living in anything resembling normal times.
So one of the many restrictions that at least some of us may have been anticipating in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak has now come into effect, and it is as follows.
This March 18th, 2020, in consultation with the U.S. federal government, our Canadian government has announced that it has now “temporarily,” and for an unknown period of time, has shut down cross-border travel to all but those transporting commercial goods back and forth.
Historically, this is no small deal. At no time in as many decades as this 60-something journalist can remember, has our Canada-U.S. border been shut down like this – not even during times of war or during or following the 9/11 terrorist attacks of two decades ago.
For those Canadians who have little or no reason or desire to cross the border, or have made a decision not to cross the border for reasons that have to do with the Trump presidency, this may not matter much at all.
But for those of us on both sides of the border, who have relatives and friends in either country, and who enjoy visiting and participating in the life of each other’s communities, this is sad news, indeed, and we can only hope that the word “temporary” that both federal governments are using to describe this border closing doesn’t turn out to be very long.
That very much depends on what we all do, and what our governments do, to contain and prevent any further spread of this killer virus.
In the meantime, the very best to all of us, Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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