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Northern border caucus co-chair calls action long-overdue
Congressman Brian Higgins responded to “positive developments” toward lifting restrictions for vaccinated travelers wishing to cross at land ports of entry between the U.S. and Canada.
He said, “The finish line is finally in sight for people who have been separated from their families and properties for way too long. For Americans and Canadians who live along the border and frequently cross as a way-of-life, action lifting restrictions for those vaccinated can’t come soon enough. This progress, following month after month of disappointing inaction, is welcome and long-overdue.”
Below is an excerpt from a readout of a call between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers detailing ongoing conversations between the two countries:
“The Prime Minister noted that, if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue, Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from all countries by early September. He noted the ongoing discussions with the United States on reopening plans, and indicated that we could expect to start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel. First Ministers expressed their support of reopening plans, and agreed on the importance of ensuring clarity and predictability as initial steps are taken. The Prime Minister indicated that ministers would share more details on these plans early next week.”
Higgins, who serves as co-chair of both the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group and the northern border caucus, has been one of the most vocal advocates for reopening the border.
New York State Sentate Republican Leacer Rob Ortt said, “For 16 months, the U.S.-Canadian border has been closed, and the economic toll between our two nations has been devastating. For the second year in a row, the exchange of goods and services between our two nations has been halted, and the small towns, villages and cities near our border that rely heavily on this exchange have suffered immensely. It is encouraging that Prime Minister Trudeau recognizes the illogical decision to keep fully vaccinated Americans from crossing the border into Canada as the positivity rate of the Western New York region continues to remain below 1 percent.”