Our U.S. Neighbours Finally Seem Resigned to Border Crossings Staying Closed

“The good old days of easy cross-border travel are likely over, at least for the next several years – and that fact could change habits and damage businesses on both sides of the border.”           – from a story in the Sunday, July 19th, 2020 edition of The Buffalo News

The skyline of Buffalo, New York from Fort Erie, Ontario. So close and now, so far away.

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Followed by a link to an informative article published this past July 19th in The Buffalo News on the ongoing border crossing issue

Posted July 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Some Introductory Comments by  Doug Draper – 

The normally busy Peace Bridge between Buffalo, New York and Fort Erie in Niagara, Ontario is almost empty of traffic now, except for the odd car and truck driven by those deemed to be involved in “essential” travel.

On the American side of the Canada-IU.S. border – at least in the Western New York area – reality seems to have set in with respect to the ongoing closing of border crossings to all but mostly commercial traffic deemed to be essential.

“I think we’re looking at the border being closed until the end of the year,” Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins was quoted saying to The Buffalo News in a lengthy story on the issue, published in the newspaper this July 19th.

It may not have been easy for Higgins to come to terms with the sad reality of the situation around border crossings, and to say those words.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins representing the Buffalo, New York area. You can hardly blame him for at least asking for a phased in re-opening for those with relatives and property on other side of border.

For several weeks, the Democratic congressman representing the Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York area was one of many border area politicians across the United States writing letters and lobbying federal government officials in both countries to at least begin the process of re-opening the border – at least making it possible, for now, for Americans and Canadians with property or with relatives they desperately want to visit on the other side to make the crossing.

Their efforts fell flat again this July when federal governments on both sides agreed to continue blocking most border traffic for at least another month, until the last week of August, bringing the total number of months crossings have so far been closed to most of us to five and counting.

And with COVID-19 cases continuing to skyrocket in many U.S. states, in a void of federal government leadership there, in states where mostly Republican governors slavishly follow Trump’s farcical words (i.e.; ‘If we stop testing, there won’t be any more cases.’) on the health crisis facing them, it is looking like border crossings are not going to be re-opened any time soon.

Indeed, Congressman Higgins’ reference to the “end of the year” before anything changes may be too optimistic.

Even if Trump loses this November’s presidential election and actually leaves the White House this coming January, it could be a long time after that until a new administration gets the firestorm of COVID suffering they now have in the country under any kind of control.

Don’t expect border crossings like this to see what federal governments in Canada and the U.S. is calling ‘non-essential traffic’ any time soon

Most Canadians seen to know that which is why recent polls show a vast majority of us against any re-opening of the border for the foreseeable future.

“We watch what’s happening to you guys, and it’s terrifying,” Dolores Fabiano, executive director of the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce in Ontario was quoted in that July 19th story telling The Buffalo News.

So terrifying that not only a majority of Canadians, put people in countries that make up the European Union, and the Bahamas – regions of the world that normally thrive on American tourist dollars – are afraid to open their doors to American visitors and another deadly wave of the virus.

Niagara At Large has received email and comments to our online site from some Americans who are angry about the prolonged closing of the border, mostly because of property they have owned for decades on the Canadian side.

If you want to blame anyone for the continued closing of our shared border, start with Trump, depicted here this past spring, on the cover of New Yorker magazine, in an almost total state of denial abut the seriousness of this pandemic

My response to them is that many of us who have friends and relatives, and places we enjoy to go on either side of the border find ourselves feeling sad and angry about this too.

But to our American friends, especially – if you are looking for someone to aim your words of frustration and anger at, start with the raving nut bar in the White House who, unlike leaders in Canada and many other countries around the world, has absolutely failed to flatten the curve and get this dangerous health crisis under control.

Because of that failure in leadership, countless numbers of people, communities and businesses on both sides of our shared border will continue to feel the pain for many months to come.

Now here is a link to the story in The Buffalo News –

To read The Buffalo News story, click on – https://buffalonews.com/news/the-impact-of-the-border-closure-more-distance-between-u-s-and-canada/article_95a60d04-c84e-11ea-aad0-d79cd33757c9.html

For a related story recently posted in Niagara At Large, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/07/17/buffalo-new-york-area-congressman-presses-for-essential-traveler-exceptions-at-canada-u-s-border-crossings/

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.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.