Trudeau maintains ‘risks are still too great’ to re-open US-Canada border

Justin Trudeau addresses the nation. September 23, 2020. (Screen grab from @CPAC_TV livestream on Twitter)

Federal officials will continue to review the current border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, but a broader re-opening isn’t in the plans yet.

Speaking to CK Mornings on 94.3 CKSY Friday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will make sure essential goods and services can flow across the border, but maintained the border will remain closed to other traffic for now in order to keep Canadians safe.

“I think we all want to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, we also know that in order to get things back to normal we have to control the spread of COVID-19,” said Trudeau. “At this point, the risks are still to great to re-open the border.”

Trudeau said the federal government is in constant contact with American officials, adding that the “bilateral closure that has been rolling over from month to month has been working for everyone.”

Back in September, U.S. President Donald Trump seemed a little more optimistic that a re-opening was on the immediate horizon.

The National Post said Trump told reporters in Washington on September 18 that “Canada would like [the border] opened and we want to get back to normal business” adding that “we’re going to be opening the borders pretty soon.”

Since then, the border closure has been extended to at least November 21, 2020.

Some exceptions are being made for families, in specific circumstances. The Canadian federal government introduced a new process earlier this month that will allow some cross-border families to reunite.

“At the beginning we were very, very cautious about really limiting the border to essential travel… but one of the things we’re seeing now is the transmission we’re seeing in Canada is very much community transmission — not a lot of it is overseas transmission or border-related transmission because our measures are working,” said Trudeau. “This pandemic is hard, this second wave is really difficult and we want to make sure we’re not doing things that are more damaging than they have to be on people and their lives.”

You can hear the full conversation that Prime Minister Trudeau had with CK Mornings on 94.3 CKSY Friday morning by clicking here.