Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke at a news conference on Thursday and said he wants to see the US-Canada border remain closed for non-essential purposes.
Ford's fear is the looming threat of a second wave of COVID-19, after speaking with an expert on the issue he said it was wise to keep the borders closed to the U.S. and allow international travel.
“He said, ‘you know when the second wave is going to happen when you fully open up and you let people from around the world come back into Canada,’” said Premier Ford during the press conference.
“I know it’s inevitable and we got to do it. I just don’t think we are ready right now. You see what’s happening down in the states; you look at Florida, you look at Texas, Arizona, California. I don’t want to be those states. I want to protect the people here in Ontario.”
Borders are scheduled to reopen between the two countries as of July 21 which would include non-essential travellers going back and forth, announced Prime Minister Trudeau at the beginning of June. That date could be extended however as it has already been extended three time since it was first implemented in March to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Many border communities want to see it reopened as they rely heavily on tourism between the two countries and many towns in Ontario and elsewhere have been calling on the federal government to do so.
Despite their calls, Ford said he remains adamant that the borders stay closed until the proposed day of July 21, saying, “I just think we are opening it up too early if the decision is made on July 21. I just don’t think we’re ready for people south of the border,” Ford added, “Believe me, I love the Americans, make no mistake about it, but not when their COVID cases are just spiking right now and I’m just not in favour. I got to protect the people of Ontario.”