MP Gladu wants safe, full reopening of Canada-U.S. border

Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu speaks at the Sarnia Riding Club. June 21, 2019. (BlackburnNews photo by Colin Gowdy)

Sarnia-Lambton’s MP is calling on the federal government to fully open the Canada-U.S. border.

Marilyn Gladu is urging the Trudeau Liberals to accelerate their plan to reopen the border with safety protocols that are appropriate.

Gladu accused the government of continuing to “move the goalposts” when it comes to opening the border to non-essential traffic.

“Originally it was ‘we want to keep our ICUs from being overwhelmed,’ and then it was ‘we want to keep the case count below 1,000,’ and then it was ‘we want to have 75 per cent of people with their first vaccine and 20 per cent with their second,’ but as we continue to meet these milestones, the government then does nothing to come with a plan to reopen the border.”

Gladu said for more than a year-and-a-half, she’s heard from desperate families separated by the border, and industries suffering under the border closure.

She said Canadians are getting very frustrated.

“We see that our U.S. counterparts are calling for us to reopen, we know that Michigan is now fully open, and so we need to come up with a plan, and I think we can do that, to safely reopen.”

Gladu said the federal government continues to delay coming up with a plan until they receive pressure from outside. She said that’s why it’s important for members of parliament to call out for a plan and make helpful suggestions.

“All the way along I’ve been suggesting to the government things they need to do, and I’ve had some luck with family reunification through, in getting them to make compassionate exemptions, in addressing getting people’s property back and forth, but it’s time to keep pressing.”

Gladu said there are other MPs across the country also calling for a full reopening of the border, including Chris Lewis and Brian Masse from the Windsor-Essex region.

“Obviously the ones at the border, their economy is more invested in the border traffic, and we’re going to miss an opportunity for the tourism season.”

Gladu believes certain safety protocols would still be appropriate if the border does reopen.

“People that have received their vaccines shouldn’t have to quarantine if they can show that they have a negative PCR test when they enter, but in addition to that, we have to address the inconsistencies. It doesn’t make any sense that I can fly to the U.S. but I can’t drive over the land border,” she said. “For those who, for whatever reason, can’t take a vaccine, there will be protocols involving testing and an appropriate quarantine period that we can keep in place until we see that the pandemic is fully passed.”

Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S. were extended to July 21 earlier this month.

Border restrictions have been in place since March 2020.