A Call for a Full Reopening of Canada-U.S. Border Crossings This Summer

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Says Vaccine Progress & Collaboration Should Allow for US-Canada Border to Fully Reopen this Summer

This March 21st Marks One-Year Anniversary of Northern Border Shutdown

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

“Vaccine manufacturing and distribution in the US is way ahead of schedule making it possible to help Canada without compromising distribution in the US. Now is the time to move aggressively in a bilateral way on a plan to reopen the border.”  – Buffalo, New York area Congressman and Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus, Brian Higgins

A News Release from the Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted March 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – U.S. Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is continuing to push for a full reopening of the border between the U.S. and Canada by July and encouraging a partial reopening, including additional exemptions to allow families to reunite, much sooner. March 21, 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the northern border closing to non-essential travel.

Could we get back to anything like this – a line-up of cars on the U.S. side of the Peace Bridge border crossing – this summer?

Higgins, who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus, said, “A great deal of positive developments have occurred over the last several months. The U.S. and Canada are collaborating in a meaningful way again.

Vaccine manufacturing and distribution in the US is way ahead of schedule making it possible to help Canada without compromising distribution in the US. Now is the time to move aggressively in a bilateral way on a plan to reopen the border. It can be done with appropriate safety measures. Let’s get the border open.”

In February, Congressman Higgins wrote to President Biden challenging the Administration to reach a partial reopening of the Northern Border by Memorial day and a full reopening by July.  There are new indications this week that the White House is working toward the goal of beginning to lift some travel restrictions in May.

The US has successfully expedited its distribution of the COVID vaccine. President Biden announced the US will have enough supply to vaccinate every adult by the end of May. The President also has a goal of getting the nation closer to normal by July 4.

As of Friday, March 19 Canada has administered over 3.6 million doses of the COVID vaccine with over 8% of the nation’s population receiving at least one dose while the U.S. has reached 116 million doses administered with close to 23% of the total population receiving at least one dose and 65% of adults ages 65 and up vaccinated.

The Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York, loaded with trucks and cars, in the times before COVID-19

This week the White House indicated plans are underway to transfer 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccineto Canada from the U.S. The vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trial in the U.S., has already been approved for distribution in Canada.

Higgins has led a dialogue about the US-Canada border with members of the Biden Administration, counterparts in Canadian government, families impacted by the border including members of Let Us Reunite<https://www.letusreunite.org/>, members of the Wilson Center Canada Task Force and his colleagues on the Congressional Northern Border Caucus. He has additional conversations scheduled with officials from both the U.S. and Canada to reiterate his goals for reopening and to determine what is feasible both short-term and long-term.

Throughout 2020 Congressman Higgins advocated for the previous administration to work on a nuanced approach to reopening the border, but no changes were made. Higgins wrote to the incoming Biden administration last December asking that President Biden make the Northern Border a priority. President Biden followed through>, holding his first bilateral call and follow-up meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and delivering the US-Canada Partnership Roadmap.

Canada currently allows for exemptions for immediate and extended family of Canadian citizens to cross the border if they agree to follow a quarantine protocol. Higgins believes the US can and should implement reciprocal exemptions on the U.S. side of the border.

On March 18 the Department of Homeland Security announced<https://twitter.com/DHSgov/status/1372530432030433280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1372530432030433280%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wivb.com%2Fnews%2Flocal-news%2Fcanada%2Fus-canada-border-closed-until-at-least-april-21%2F> the border would continue to be closed to non-essential travel through April 21. Higgins, whose district borders Southern Ontario and includes the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York, hopes this is the last blanket shutdown issued.

For more information on and from the U.S.-based Northern Border Caucus, click on – https://higgins.house.gov/issues/northern-border

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


3 responses to “A Call for a Full Reopening of Canada-U.S. Border Crossings This Summer

  1. Living in a border town, I don’t want to see an early opening of the border. US citizens have shown a disregard for not wearing masks and social distancing as well as a lot of people refusing to be vaccinated.


  2. Linda McKellar

    I’m in no rush. The stats say 8% are vaccinated in Canada vs 23% in the US. FAR from the preferred minimum herd immunity required of @70% and there are lots of morons refusing the vaccine. Why do they think they no longer get polio or smallpox? Fairy dust?
    Thank you President Biden for the AstraZeneca. Sadly it is not currently recommended for those over 65 but better safe than sorry.
    Supposedly 65% of over 65’s in the US are vaccinated. I’m 71 and diabetic with no prospect of a vaccination in sight. Most of my friends are in the same situation, same age bracket and one with MS, one with ALS and a couple others who are extremely immunocompromised. They haven’t received it either nor do they seem to qualify at present. The big cities also seem to be a priority. Jails too. That’s nice. Do I have to commit a crime to get a vaccine? Sure it’s a community setting, so what?
    The wonderful Mulroney government sold off Connaught labs years ago. It was our only domestic producer of vaccines. Thank you Brian who is sunning himself in Florida. Next up, Harris allowed privatization of a flock of seniors’ residences (and then invested in them) where 80% of the nursing home deaths occurred, far more than in public residences. Another bonehead move.
    A vaccination passport should be a necessity to travel to ANY other country or attend certain mass gatherings. No passport, no entry. See how many refuse vaccines then. If the border opens they should have proof of vaccination going either direction and science should assure us that vaccinated individuals can no longer be carriers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am fully vaccinated and wear a face mask. Why not let respectful law abiding US citizens into Canada? Plane loads of Canadians come to Florida.


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