Congressman Brian Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, expressed cautious optimism following public remarks indicating action to allow for additional people to cross the U.S.-Canada border could come in a matter of weeks.
On June 22, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this gradual opening is going to happen, “within a few weeks and not within a few months." (Video Link – remarks come at 11:30 in English and more at 12:50 in French)
Noting the government of Canada had issued much more pessimistic pronouncements, Higgins said, “We welcome this change in tone, and hope it will lead to swift action; but separated families, homeowners and businesses that rely on the border need to see concrete and specific actions. For months, people have been waiting for clear direction on plans for reopening the U.S.-Canada border. Movement that gets us closer to action sooner rather than later is welcome.
“Science tells us vaccines are highly effective in protecting the public. The public has been a cooperative partner in getting us to this point. Thanks to the progress made in fighting the pandemic, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have relaxed restrictive COVID protocols internally. Similar science-based standards can and should be applied internationally. We have heard from countless people on both sides of the border who ache for a return to cross-border travel. We need to make that happen.”