Prime Minister Announces Border Will Remain Closed for at least Another 30 Days
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted May 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
With less than two days to go to the latest May 21st deadline, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during his COVID news briefing this May 19th that an agreement has been reached with the United States to keep the shared border closed to non-essential traffic for at least another 30 days.
That now takes us to on or about June 21st – a full three months after the border crossings were first closed to all but essential, mostly commercial-oriented traffic – before the earliest possible re-opening of the Peace Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge and other border crossings to those of us who would like to go back to visiting our friends and relatives, and some of our favourite places in each other’s countries.
I don’t know about your thoughts on this (and if you want you can share them below), but I have my own mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I continue to feel the same sense of sadness I did when I first heard in late March that the border would be closed to most of us that my family and I won’t be seeing some of our American friends and some of the places we enjoy in the Buffalo area and beyond for a while.
I also continue to feel angry that things got this bad on this continent with this virus in the first place. And arguably, they would not have gotten this bad if some of our leaders, most particularly the big powerful one now sitting in the White House, had not allowed his fantasies and delusions to keep him from responding earlier to what his own intelligence experts were him warning was on the way.
If action was taken earlier, an almost unprecedented decision to close the Canada-U.S. border (the last time it happened was for a very short period of time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks) may not have been necessary, and most importantly, far fewer people would be dead today.
On the other hand, and putting my sadness and anger aside, I was relieved to hear this news that the border closing will be extended. And why?
As I have argued in other recent commentary on this site, when, as a Canadian, you look across the border and see some of the reckless and dangerous behaviour, starting right up at the top with Trump, do you feel safe swinging the border wide open to God knows who from states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and further south where you have these heavily armed screw balls waving Trump flags and calling governors who want to keep protective measures in place fascists or worse?
In all due respect to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and to so many others in his state who have done a heroic job of tamping down what began and continued for weeks as a disastrous outbreak there, they control who comes up through New York and may cross the border here. At the Windsor border bridges, you are just a few hours’ drive from the Michigan capital city of Lansing where armed nuts were protesting and threatening the good governor there.
All of this in the background of the snake oil salesman in the White House who would have his followers shooting up Lysol or drinking Clorox Bleach, or popping this pill that is typically used for treating malaria that he claims he is taking now.
Just a few days ago, one of Trump’s sons, Eric, who is arguably the dumbest member of the family, was screaming (with some 90,000 American deaths and counting) that this pandemic is being deliberately blown out of proportion by the liberal media and political foes so his daddy can’t hold rallies.
However, crazy or stupid though, if a Trump says it, there are millions of Americans out there, for reasons I don’t think a team of psychiatrists could fully understand, who will believe it. Just as so many of them now believe that wearing a mask is somehow an act of betrayal to their dear, “stable genius” of a leader, who won’t wear one.
After all that we Canadians have been through with this pandemic, and now just finally getting to the point where we might be able to go out and do a few more things again, are we ready to open the Canada-U.S. border and take a chance on any of those screwballs possibly driving the virus over?
“We miss you guys,” one of my Buffalo friends told me in an email recently.
What can I say? My family and I miss them too. But there is too much at risk here when you are dealing with that many people who seem willing to endanger themselves and others for a demagogue and whatever delusions or mad ideology he indulges in.
So for another 30 days, at least, the Canada-U.S. border remains closed to all but essential traffic.
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.