A Question to Federal Governments – Is There Any Plan Afoot for Easing Border Crossing Restrictions? Or Do Border Communities Not Count As a Priority?
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted June 19th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Federal governments in Canada and the United States – much to the chagrin of growing numbers of their citizens hoping there would finally be some easing of border crossing restrictions – announced this June 18th that they would leave what is virtually a blanket ban on “non-essential” crossings in place for at least another month – until July 21st.
Earlier on in the pandemic, before there was access to a vaccine and you had a president of the U.S. in the name of Donald Trump and too many U.S. governors publicly downplaying the seriousness of the COVID-19 plague, it made all the sense in the world to continue a border-crossing ban that began in March, 2020.
This journalist was in complete agreement with keeping the border closed to non-essential then, and I was equally outraged by reports that some so-called Canadian ‘Snowbirds’ found ways to crossing anyway.
How does hiring a charter flight across the border on a helicopter and plane, and having some bogus business entity drive your car across the border, so you can get back in it and drive all the way down to Florida constitute an “essential service?”
No federal government representative on either side of the border has ever been able to explain that.
Nor were government representatives in Canada able to explain why border officers somehow turned their backs and looked the other way when it came to a number of CEO’s from American-based corporations crossing the border to hold meetings with their Canadian shareholders. Could not these CEOs do what the rest of us have had to do over the past 16 months and hold their meetings virtually, on Zoom?
So now, here we are, after growing numbers of Americans and Canadians have been fully vaccinated, being slapped with a blanket ban on crossing land borders again.
This is beginning to get ridiculous, to say the least.
Cannot exemptions be made at this point for Canadians and Americans who are fully vaccinated and who have loved ones on the other side of the border – some of whom are aging and may be moving closer to death due to a debilitating disease – to cross the border?
How about fully-vaccinated Canadians and Americans who have valuable properties on the other side – properties that they have not been able to look in on now for 15 months?
Why do they count less than a ‘Snowbird’ who finds some way (when there was still no vaccine, by the way) of puddle jumping across the border so they could spend all winter playing golf and lounging on the beach in a State of Florida where the governor has been reckless about requiring COVID protection measures to say the least?
Surely by now, the governments of Canada and the United States would have measures in place to ease what were, for many months, necessary border crossing restrictions.
No wonder patience among people in border communities in both countries is growing so thin.
Now here is a Statement released this June 18th from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, whose patience for a plan to ease border restrictions appears to have expired –
Statement of U.S. House Co-Chairs of Canada-US Interparliamentary Group on Continued Extension of Border Restrictions
Congress members Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2), who serve as co-chairs of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, released the following joint statement in response to extension of U.S. – Canada border restrictions:
“Millions of Americans and Canadians are counting on our governments to work together to reach an agreement that provides a clear roadmap for reopening the border between our two nations.
“The lack of transparency surrounding these negotiations is a disservice to our constituents and the millions of residents on both sides of the border waiting to see their loved ones, visit their property, and renew business ties.
“While the arrival of vaccines in record time has been a modern marvel, the inability of the U.S. and Canadian governments to reach an agreement on alleviating border restrictions or aligning additional essential traveler classes is simply unacceptable.”
Here was an interview broadcast on CBC earlier this spring with Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins –
To read a related report on this issue, click on –
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