TORONTO — U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has sent a letter to the Biden administration stressing the need for a reopening plan for the Canada-U.S. border.
He’s also calling for an expansion of the list of who’s able to travel across the border, to include fully vaccinated people with property on the other side of the border, or who are travelling for educational, medical or business purposes.
In his letter, Sen. Schumer (NY) says: “A bi-national plan with clearly defined benchmarks will provide clarity and transparency to a confusing and frustrating process. Such an agreement is critical to safely and coherently reopening the border for non-essential travel as quickly as the underlying data would permit.”
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed for more than a year amid the pandemic, and the next date for that closure to possibly be extended is May 21. Earlier this month Canada landed on the U.S.’s Do Not Travel list. Meanwhile some provincial premiers including Ontario Premier Doug Ford are calling for more travel restrictions as third wave numbers remain high.
Noting the high level of vaccination rates in New York, Sen. Schumer says “it is now incumbent on the federal government to do their part and aid their desperate desire to fully rebuild and recover. This recovery cannot be done, and I will not rest, until bilateral collaboration to safely reopen the United States and Canadian land border is an utmost priority and a plan for a full reopening is publicly released.”
Meanwhile the CBC asked each of Canada’s four major political parties about their stance on vaccine tourism.
As the travel industry well knows, Canada’s advisory against all non-essential travel has been in place for almost 14 months now.
However reports of some Canadians looking outside Canada for vaccinations, as countries like the U.S. far outpace Canada in terms of vaccination numbers and supply, have been ramping up in recent weeks.
In its report the CBC asked the Liberals, the Conservatives, the NDP and the Green Party for their views on vaccine tourism.
The Liberals and the Conservatives provided indirect answers. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said Canadians should get the vaccine wherever they are in the world, if it’s available. And Green Party leader Annamie Paul first stressed that the advisory against non-essential travel is still in place, then said that if a Canadian is already out of the country for essential reasons, or is residing in another country, and vaccines are available, then they should get vaccinated.