(File photo)

U.S.-Canadian border closure reportedly could extend through November

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21

The U.S.-Canadian border closure to non-essential traffic, which is currently set to expire next week, could be extended through Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters Canada reported Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Citing “well-placed,” but unnamed sources in Washington D.C. and Ottawa, Reuters reported that the border could remain closed through at least the end of November.

The story also said that Canadian officials showed little interest in relaxing some of the restrictions currently in place anytime soon in spite of suggestions to do so from their American counterparts.

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21 in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 between the neighbors. The closure, initially set to last a month, has been since extended five times and is currently set to expire on Monday, Sept. 21.

But this time, authorities are looking to extend the closure by two full months, as one source told Reuters “this is probably going to have to extend through at least until American Thanksgiving (Nov. 26).”

Stories coming out of Canada suggesting many north of the border are in favor of keeping the border closed while the U.S. continues to struggle with getting new COVID-19 cases and related deaths under control.

Research Co. published results of a poll conducted Sept. 1 that found that 90% of 1,000 Canadians asked would like to see the border remained closed to non-essential travel.

Last week, CTV reported that a group of Canadian mayors from cities located near the border called for the federal government to continue prohibiting non-essential travel between the two countries.

In an unscientific Facebook poll with the story, CTV asked readers if they when they thought the border should reopen — next year, it should be open now or wait until there is a vaccine. The post has been commented on 2,200 times, shared 377 times and drew 13,233 votes as of Monday afternoon, Sept. 14, and found:

  • 6.8% of people who responded (895) want the border open now.
  • 34.2% of people who responded (4,522) want the border to remain closed until there is a vaccine.
  • 58.1% of people who responded (7,686) want the border closed until next year.

Economic impact

Despite trade and commerce being allowed during the border closing, both countries’ economies rely heavily on one another, and that is definitely seen here in Whatcom County.

The Western Washington University Border Policy Research Institute has found that Canadians comprise approximately 75% of cross-border travelers to and from Whatcom County, depending on the exchange rate, according to information Director Laurie Trautman emailed to The Bellingham Herald. In 2018, that would have represented approximately 10.5 million southbound Canadian travelers through the Blaine, Lynden, Sumas and Point Roberts points of entry.

Those Canadians represent a large portion of consumers in Whatcom County — anywhere from 2% to 46% of the weekend customer base Whatcom County retailers see, Trautman reported, adding that the average is about 17%.

B.C. update

According to the British Columbia COVID-19 dashboard, the province has seen 7,279 total cases during the pandemic and 219 confirmed deaths as of Monday. It also shows that the number of daily cases has dramatically increased since mid-August and the total number of active cases in the province is 1,594.

More than half of the total cases (3,754) are in the Frasier Health Authority, which borders Whatcom County. The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority accounts for 2,557 cases.

With a population of approximately 5.1 million, British Columbia is averaging 142.7 cases and 4.3 related deaths per 100,000 residents.

For comparison, the Washington State Department of Health reported 80,138 confirmed cases and 2,006 related deaths on Monday. With a population of approximately 7.5 million, the state is averaging 1,068.5 cases and 26.7 deaths per 100,000.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

Aaron Hemens is the editor for the Creston Valley Advance. Photo: Rame Kader
Editorial: Challenge your biases

“It requires a lot of courage and strength for someone like Mary Jayne to write her own story about her life as a woman in the Blackmore family. No matter your stance on the Blackmores, it’s important to listen.”

Tanya Finley will run as the Nelson-Creston candidate for the BC Liberals in the upcoming election. Photo submitted
Tanya Finley will run as the Nelson-Creston candidate for the BC Liberals in the upcoming election. Photo submitted
Election 2020: Tanya Finley

The second of four interviews with the Nelson-Creston candidates

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read