Though Canada and the U.S. have agreed to shut their shared land border to non-essential journey, they do not seem to agree on a number of associated points — together with what to do subsequent.
Greater than seven months after the border closed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have provided up contradictory messages about what occurs now.
The Canada-U.S. border is about to reopen on Oct. 21, however Trudeau implied this week that the closure will probably be prolonged.
In an interview Wednesday on Winnipeg podcast The Begin, Trudeau mentioned Canada plans to maintain the border closed so long as COVID-19 case counts within the U.S. stays excessive.
“We hold extending the border closures as a result of the USA isn’t in a spot the place we’d really feel snug reopening these borders,” he mentioned.
4 weeks prior, Trump provided a distinct prognosis for the Canada-U.S. border closure.
“We’re wanting on the border with Canada — Canada would love it open,” he mentioned on the White Home on Sept. 18.
“So we’re gonna be opening the borders fairly quickly…. We wish to get again to regular enterprise.”
WATCH | Trump says on Sept. 18 U.S.-Canada border might reopen ‘fairly quickly’:
Overseas affairs professional Edward Alden mentioned the disconnect between the 2 leaders suggests there are presently no joint discussions about an eventual reopening plan.
“With the Trudeau authorities saying, ‘No, do not open’ … and President Trump saying, ‘Oh, I feel we’ll reopen someday quickly,’ that is no grounds for a critical government-to-government negotiation,” mentioned Alden, a professor of U.S.-Canada financial relations at Western Washington College in Bellingham, Wash.
Though many Canadians help the border closure, which took impact in late March, it has devastated the tourism business, separated family members and harm border communities in each Canada and the U.S.
Alden mentioned he understands why the border is closed for now, however that it is necessary to begin laying the groundwork for a reopening plan.
“The issue of not having these negotiations is, when can we probably have a way of when it is going to be secure to reopen the border?”
CBC Information requested each the Canadian and U.S. governments in regards to the destiny of the border closure and received disparate solutions.
The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety mentioned the 2 international locations are exploring the loosening of some restrictions.
“We consider each the U.S. and Canada are working properly collectively to evaluate potential areas for future off-ramping, when public well being situations allow,” a DHS spokesperson mentioned in an e mail.
However a spokesperson for Invoice Blair — Canada’s public security minister — provided a much less definitive assertion on the following steps.
“We are going to proceed to judge the very best public well being info out there to us to decide on when and the best way to reopen our border,” the spokesperson mentioned in an e mail.
“This determination will probably be made in Canada.”
In response to Reuters — which spoke with well-placed Washington and Ottawa sources final month — the U.S. had floated the thought of enjoyable some border restrictions, however Canadian officers confirmed little enthusiasm.
Canadians suggested to not go to U.S.
In one other disconnect between the 2 international locations, Trudeau is warning Canadians to not fly to the U.S., whereas the U.S. is welcoming Canadian air passengers.
Though the U.S. agreed to shut its shared land border with Canada, it nonetheless permits Canadians to fly to the nation for leisure journey. The U.S. authorities declined to elucidate why it made this determination.
Conversely, Canada will not enable Individuals to enter for non-essential journey by any mode of transport until they get a particular exemption.
CBC Information not too long ago reported on some Canadian snowbirds planning to fly to Florida this winter — as a result of they will.
When requested about Canadians — together with snowbirds — flying to the U.S., Trudeau mentioned within the podcast interview that they need to keep dwelling as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Individuals have to acknowledge that they are placing themselves in danger, they’re placing their family members in danger.” he mentioned. “The advice is to keep away from non-essential journey, and that is for folks’s personal security.”
Case numbers down in solar states
Trudeau and Trump additionally disagree on the COVID-19 standing of a few of the U.S. solar locations Canadians is perhaps tempted to go to this winter.
“I do know there’s lots of people very frightened about what’s taking place south of the border in Florida and Arizona and California and different locations the place the virus isn’t below management — far much less below management than we’re right here,” Trudeau mentioned within the interview.
Nevertheless, when Trump advised the border would quickly reopen, he mentioned that Florida and Arizona are “doing very properly.”
In response to U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention knowledge, new each day COVID-19 case numbers in Arizona, Florida and California have declined dramatically since their worrisome peaks in the summertime.
In the meantime, COVID-19 case numbers have surged not too long ago in some Canadian provinces.
Trump made a degree of highlighting this reality in a speech final week.
“All around the world you see huge flare-ups,” he advised a crowd of supporters. “Large flare-ups in Canada.”