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Canadian News Jul 12, 2021 6:21 PM EST

Trudeau Liberals not committed to a timeline on reopening US-Canada border

Nanos Research: Over 80 percent of respondents put public health above the economy and job creation when it comes to reopening the border.

Trudeau Liberals not committed to a timeline on reopening US-Canada border
Alex Anas Ahmed Calgary, AB

Canadians are fed up with the federal government, as travel restrictions persist along its border with the US.

Since March 2020, the Canadian government has restricted travel to the US under the auspice of protecting public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 79 percent of Canadians surveyed in a Nanos poll believe that trumps the economy and job creation, while only 18 percent believe the economy holds greater priority.

CTV News reports that over 80 percent of respondents put public health above the economy and job creation, with the exception of the Prairies, when it comes to reopening the border. 28 percent of respondents from the Prairies said they were comfortable with the border reopening tomorrow.

That same Nanos Research polled that 63 percent of Canadians want all restrictions on travel with its southerly neighbour to end this year. 34 percent said to lift restrictions this fall, 15 percent said immediately and 14 percent said during the course of summer.

16 percent believe the restrictions should be lifted in 2022, with 21 percent unsure of the timeline.

The current extension on travel restrictions expires July 21, but it is unlikely the federal government will open its doors at that time.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on July 8 that it will be “quite a while” before Canada welcomes unvaccinated tourists. He added that he would not jeopardize Canada's recovery from the pandemic by “prematurely opening the border.”

However, his government will look into easing rules “in the coming weeks” for fully vaccinated tourists. He cites his hesitancy to put dates or timelines on lifting those restrictions. “We will continue the reopening of our borders, but we will do it in a way that ensures the ongoing safety of all Canadians,” said Trudeau.

Industry stakeholders expressed concern about the lack of a comprehensive border reopening plan to promote its ailing tourism sector and businesses.

“Canadians need clarity and certainty, which today we don't have, and the goalposts keep moving. It's time to pick a goal, and to stick with it,” said Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty during a recent press conference.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged the need for a plan to reopen the border promptly, warning of possible unilateral action should Canada fail to reach an agreement.

"If an agreement cannot be reached, the United States must do two things: expand the definition of essential travel to include vaccinated Canadian citizens with family, property, educational, medical, or US business interests, and unilaterally open the northern border to those vaccinated Canadians," said Schumer in a statement.

"For over a year, we have been told to follow the science, facts, and data; it's time for the US to do the same and finally take the first move in good faith to safely reopen the border to vaccinated Canadians."

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