Like A Tin Can Border Ban Has Been Kicked Ahead Another Month – This Time Until October 21st, 2020
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – No one who has been paying attention to the Covid-19 disaster still fully in flames in Donald Trump’s America should be surprised by this news.
For the sixth month in a row, since this past March, the Peace Bridge and other Canada-U.S. border crossings in Niagara and from sea to sea across the continent will remain closed to all by essential (mostly commercial) traffic.
When the first border crossing restrictions were announced by the two countries in March, few probably imagined they would continue this long, and possibly be extended on into 2021.
“It will probably only be for a month or two,” I heard people on both sides of the border say, and I was thinking that myself, and was still hopeful that my wife and I would be able to take our annual trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts this September to visit some of our dear friends.
But here we are, and never mind our trip. There are people on both sides of the border who own properties, including cherished homes, that they have not been able to get to for half a year now, and there are people with close relatives, some of them elderly and ill, that they have not been able to visit either.
It adds to the tragedy of this pandemic for many people, and it didn’t have to drag on so long if it were not for Trump and millions of his supporters who have treated this health crisis as some kind of hoax or left-wing conspiracy, and have refused to embrace safety measures to a point that almost 200,000 American citizens (more than three times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in more than 10 years of war in Vietnam) are now dead.
In the past few weeks alone, Trump has held some of his self-aggrandizing campaign rallies in places a short drive away from Canada-U.S. border where his worshippers were packed together like sardines and hooting and hollering while not wearing masks. At one of these rallies in New Hampshire, Trump supporters literally let out with a loud chorus of boos when someone went to the intercom and asked them to wear masks.
Canadians witness this reckless, life-threatening behaviour on cable news programs and, according to the most recent polls, more than 70 per cent of Canadians are saying keep the borders closed.
They are saying, and one can’t blame them, after everything we have already been through with this killer virus, and all of the sacrifices that have been made, we can’t afford to open the borders and risk having some of the irresponsible people, like those attending what are being called these “super-spreader rallies, coming over here.
It would be good if the two countries could perhaps come up with a safe-sure-proof way of allowing people with close relatives and properties cross, but no measures of that nature have so far been agreed upon.
So here we are, and how sad for everyone who enjoys crossing the border to visit friends and relatives, or to enjoy some of the places and events on either side that they have attended in the past.
Brian Higgins, a U.S. Congressman and a friend of Canada who represents a district in the Buffalo, New York area and has been hoping beyond hope that the border restrictions might ease, circulated another statement this September 16th.
Here it is –
A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins On News of U.S. – Canada Travel Ban Extension
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, released the following statement in response to multiple news reports indicating the travel ban will be extended between the United States and Canada:
“This (Trump) Administration has to understand that we won’t have a healthy economy until we have a healthy country and that starts with taking this virus seriously. Western New York businesses and families have been devastated by the border closure.
We miss the free flow of people across the border and the mutual benefits it brings to our neighboring countries, but due to President Trump’s irresponsible and chaotic handling of COVID-19, we respect and understand Canada’s position. This is just one of the consequences of the President’s failed response to this pandemic.”
Canada averages less than 800 new COVID-19 cases a day, a rate that is currently higher than in previous weeks, while the United States is currently seeing around 40,000 new cases daily. The United States has just 4.25% of the world’s population but our citizens, friends, neighbors and family members now represent over 21% of the world’s deaths due to COVID.
The border between the U.S. and Canada first closed due to the pandemic on March 24th. The border crossing restrictions have previously been extended multiple times. The first extension was through May 20, then June 22, July 21, and August 21 with the current order set to expire September 21.
Higgins spoke about the border closure during a House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee hearing last week.
“The fact of the matter is, the poor handling of this pandemic by the federal government is as clear as it could be. 25% of the deaths from COVID-19 are Americans globally, with only 5% of the world’s population. The world is closed to Americans, and to America. Americans aren’t welcome in Canada; Americans aren’t welcome in 27 European countries.” Higgins later continued.
“The United States federal government response was slow, sloppy, and adversarial. I represent an area that sits on the Canadian border, both the city of Buffalo and the city of Niagara Falls. I’m trying to get the border open with Canada.
“There is only one statistic that matters every single morning when they reevaluate that, and that is the number of cases that you have per 100,000 population, and we in the United States, our COVID-19 cases are seven times that which is in Canada today.”
To watch people in a large crowd of Trump supporters, at a rally in New Hampshire, just a few hours drive from the Canadian border, boo when they asked to where masks, click on the screen immediately below –
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.