Leaders Representing Buffalo, Niagara Falls, New York, Beaches-East York, Toronto & Malpeque, Prince Edward Island Push for Action
A Joint Statement from Buffalo, New York Area U.S. Congressman Higgins & Canadian Liberal Members of Parliament Erskine-Smith & Wayne Easter on Northern Border
Posted June 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large
“Reopening our countries’ shared border must be a top priority for our respective governments at this point in the pandemic. For more than a year, Americans and Canadians have endured separation from their families, friends, and property in response to the public health crisis.
“Guidance from both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Canada’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel is clear: individuals with proof of immunity can travel safely and should not be subject to quarantine requirements.
“It is time for our governments to listen to the experts and together release an evidence-based plan to reunite families, safely resume normal border operations, and quickly restore our two countries’ deeply interconnected economies.”
Higgins represents portions of Western New York, including the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls in the U.S. House of Representatives. Erskine-Smith represents Beaches-East York, a downtown Toronto riding in Canada’s House of Commons. Easter represents the riding of Malpeque, Prince Edward Island.
Higgins & Easter serve as Co-Chairs of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and regularly work on cross-border issues. The statement follows a virtual meeting between Higgins and Erskine-Smith.
The United States and Canada share 5,525 miles of border, the longest land boundary between two countries in the world.
A Brief Afterword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
Okay, so I can already imagine more than a few readers saying; ‘Here we go again with this Congressman from the Buffalo, New York area calling for a plan for re-opening Canada-U.S. border crossings.
That Congressman – a Democrat from the Buffalo area named Brian Higgins – has been taking more than his fair share of hits from individuals on the Canadian side of the border for some time now calling for a strategy for eventually re-opening border crossings like the Peace Bridge to everyday traffic.
We all know that the border crossings – closed to all but so-called “essential traffic for going on a year and a half now – are going to open sooner or later.
Higgins, by all accounts and his own words and as a long-time member of a Canada-U.S. border committee, has never been calling for the border gates to be swung wide open. For the most part, he has advocated for people on both sides of the border, with valued properties or with beloved relatives they have not been able to visit in hospitals or long-term care homes, to be able to cross under rules that are safe for everyone.
I simply wanted to try to point that out for those who may read this post and criticize him again for asking for safe, science-based border -re-opening rules.
I would also say that, in the view of this Canadian journalist anyway, Buffalo are Congressman Brian Higgins has shown every sign of being a friend of Canada and we should feel good about having a U.S. political representative like him (rather than someone in the more hostile Trump camp) as a close neighbour.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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