“I haven’t had another human face in my house since mid-March and did not go to all of that effort and sacrifice so people can come over the border from highly infected areas, disobey quarantine rules and party irresponsibly like I’ve seen in the US.” – Linda McKellar, Fort Erie, Ontario
“Canada’s infection rate has been, and continues to be, exceptionally low while the numbers in the U.S. are the highest in the world and growing exponentially rendering your country and the Trump administration the butt joke of the world sufficient to have Europe close its borders to the U.S.A.” – Carla Rienzo, Niagara Falls, Ontario
A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted July 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
This July 8th, I posted a news commentary I wrote on Niagara At Large, questioning the call by a number of border area U.S. Congressional representatives, including the good Congressman from the Buffalo, New York area, to draft a phased-in border opening plan for at least those Americans and Canadians on both sides who own property in the other country and have relatives they want or need to visit there.
While I sympathize with those who have property and relatives they want to visit or attend to on either side of the border – I have good friends in that position, myself – my conclusion was that due to world-record increases of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States, it would be reckless and dangerous for Canada to agree to re-open border crossings to anything but essential traffic now.
In response to my commentary I received the following comment from an American citizen who identified himself as Bob O. –
“Totally ridiculous article,” he said. “Completely clueless to what is really going on in the states. I have paid my property taxes for 68 years for my Canadian property. I don’t have coronavirus and have been very careful the entire time. There is absolutely no reason that I should not be able to access my remote property.”
It is a position that totally goes against almost everything I have heard from so many fellow Canadians on this side of the border, who look at the flaming COVID increases in the U.S. and the asinine way that Trump and his enablers are handling it and say; ‘No damn way to re-opening that border now or anytime soon.
With the next deadline for possibly re-opening Canada-U.S. border crossings coming up this July 21st, let’s hope that our Canadian government, including our Liberal government MPs in Niagara, Ontario – MP Vance Badawey in Niagara Centre and MP Chris Bittle in St.Catharines – agree that, for the sake of the health of people in our country, this border must remain closed.
Frankly, it was very disappointing that our Niagara Regional Council, with all of the time it spent at a special meeting this July 8th – arguing for hours to no end on a bylaw for a mandatory mask order in Niagara, did not use a bit of that time to discuss drafting a letter to the federal government to continue keeping the border closed.
After all, when it comes to anyone from anywhere in the United States crossing that border, we in Niagara are on the frontline.
Now here are a few comments from Niagara residents who responded to Bob O’s note and who definitely want the border to remain closed.
First, here is a comment from Fort Erie resident and retired hospital nurse Linda McKellar –
Sorry American friends but it is our border just as much as it is yours.
We have our own laws that don’t allow you to come in with guns and we don’t want your Covid either. If we decide it is to be closed, it will be.
Let’s face it, if you wanted to keep Canadians out of the US it would be a done deal, no negotiating. Canadians also have friends and property in the US. Our tourism, services, restaurants, etc. are suffering just as much as yours. The economic sector is likely a big part of your concern, not compassion.
You are botching your Covid response….horribly! Too many of your citizens are being selfish, careless and downright stupid. Those are the ones spoiling it for all of us. Vilify them, not Canadians. Give THEM a kick in the butt. They want “liberty or death”. Ironically one might give them the other! Until it is under control our border must be closed….period. I don’t care if it’s for a year. Those to whom I have spoken universally agree.
I haven’t had another human face in my house since mid-March and did not go to all of that effort and sacrifice so people can come over the border from highly infected areas, disobey quarantine rules and party irresponsibly like I’ve seen in the US. Some have already lied and sneaked across in Alberta claiming to be going to Alaska. While many might act according to the rules, there are others who will not.
I feel sorry for those with property here but our health….and yours…. is far more important.
Finally, here is a comment from Niagara Falls, Ontario resident Carla Rienzo –
Carla Rienzo – Dear Bob O, congratulations on your graduation from the Trump School of Epidemiology. Graduation day must have been a proud moment for you as you took your well-earned place alongside a sea of fellow graduates, all wearing “Make America Great Again” ball caps.
Let me bring you up to speed on a few tiny details that you and your ilk have a difficult time understanding. I will type slowly so that you don’t miss anything.
Canada’s infection rate has been, and continues to be, exceptionally low while the numbers in the U.S. are the highest in the world and growing exponentially rendering your country and the Trump administration the butt joke of the world sufficient to have Europe close its borders to the U.S.A. Even a child can forecast that many other countries will soon follow suit.
But back to your personal health, what the Trump School of Epidemiology did not teach you is that A) you can pass a Coronavirus test today and be infected tomorrow and B) you can be highly infectious and not exhibit any symptoms at all.
So, now you know why Canada has absolutely no interest in welcoming you to your remote Canadian property. I know, I know, you never thought you’d see the day when figurative walls would be built, not by your country to keep others out, but by other countries to keep Americans out.
Suck it up, big boy. Your worst is yet to come.
P.S. Say hi to Governor Cuomo for me. My fellow Canadians and I love him!!
A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large journalist Doug Draper – Let me assure everyone that from what I have heard from residents across this Niagara region, Linda McKellar and Carla Rienzo are far from alone.
And I am sorry Bob O. from America. If you have a beef, it is with the madman in the White House who has totally fucked up the handling of this pandemic in your country.
Here is the piece Niagara At Large posted recently on U.S. politicians wanting to phase in the opening of the border – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/07/08/canada-must-say-no-to-calls-from-u-s-politicians-for-re-opening-of-border-phased-in-re-opening-or-otherwise/
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