Statement by Congressman Higgins on Extension of the US-Canada Border Shutdown Homeland Security Keeps Northern Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel Through June 21
Posted May 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Buffalo, New York – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) expressed great disappointment following the announcement that the United States and Canada have continued to keep the Northern Border closed to non-essential travel for another full month.
“It is truly unacceptable at this point to have another 30-day extension with no further exceptions for those vaccinated, no goals or targets outlined to expand crossings, no reciprocal allowances for family reunification, and no plan,” said Higgins, who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group.
“We have made great strides in fighting the pandemic and we need to make progress on reopening the border. That is essential to both families that have been separated for way too long and to our binational economies.”
Higgins has been a strong voice in the need to develop a plan to reopen the border, calling for the definition of essential traveler to be expanded by May, followed by a full reopening of the border by July. This week he pushed for the U.S. to allow Canadians to cross into New York State for COVID vaccine appointments. <https://higgins.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-higgins-asks-new-york-state-to-make-covid-vaccines-available-to>
The border between the United States and Canada first closed to non-essential travel in March of 2020. The existing order, set to expire on May 21, was extended through June 21, 2021.
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Today there was a huge motorhome with a Montana Licence plate at the FE LCBO (parked in the middle blocking much of the parking lot). I don’t know what their port of entry was, but doubt it would be considered ‘essential’ travel. I’ve seen enough vehicles with New York plates parked along the Niagara River to wonder how porous is the border that’s ‘closed’?
The problem is that neither country has had nearly enough citizens vaccinated for herd immunity. Nowhere near it (@ 70 to 75% needed). The fact that some states (and possibly Ontario) are opening up makes me leery of yet another wave or new variants. Will they never learn?
Get your stuff together people. GET VACCINATED! No big deal.
No one enters or leaves Canada without a vaccine verification. No one goes to the cinema, games or shows or gets on a plane or public transit. Take away their health card until they do. What they are doing is an ethical crime. If they infect someone who dies, how is their conscious decision any different than driving drunk?
Instead of rewarding people with beer vouchers or game tickets, fine them. Make it compulsory except for those with valid medical exemptions.
As John said, the LCBO is essential travel across over half the continent from Montana.
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What are other Congress men and women doing in their respective jurisdictions across the 3000 mileborder? It should be a united voice of all our Congress reps and senators. It’s absurd hockey players can cross the border but families can’t be re united.