Gladu pushing for reduced quarantine program at Blue Water Bridge

Aerial view of the Blue Water Bridge/St. Clair River (BlackburnNews.com photo by Dave Dentinger)

Sarnia-Lambton’s MP would like to see a program exploring reduced quarantine periods implemented at the Blue Water Bridge.

Marilyn Gladu told Sue Storr on CHOK (103.9FM/1070AM) Friday morning it doesn’t make sense that people can fly into the United States, but can’t drive across the border.

She’s said she’s trying to get the Ontario and federal governments to jointly implement a pilot program that’s underway in Alberta.

“What they’re doing at their border is for non-essential residents and citizens that are coming back they test them, they have a priority on the test, and they get the results within 24 hours,” said Gladu. “So, people are basically in quarantine until they get their negative test results. It eliminates this 14 day quarantine that is quite a barrier for people that have to work, or people that have to go back and care for parents on both sides of the border. And to be fair, we have not had any cases related to essential travel that’s going on right now and has been going on since the beginning of this. I think we have to manage the risk, I get that and I’m not suggesting that we just open it up without any provisions, but I think it’s been almost a year and we do have to address the situations, like where people can’t come and see their loved ones that are dying.”

Gladu said there’s a lot of interest in the program from Premier Doug Ford’s government.

“It’s had good success in Alberta. It’s just a question of getting the federal government and all of the players together and to make sure that we have the adequate staffing and choose a spot to do it. I think Sarnia’s crossing is a good place to do it. It’s not as busy as some of the other crossings, and our testing capability is good.”

The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21 to limit the spread of COVID-19 between the countries.

Restrictions that were set to expire on Saturday, November 21 have been extended another month until December 21.

Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced the extension on Twitter.