Trudeau insists border will not open for weeks

Vehicles on the Ambassador Bridge on April 16, 2017 (Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News)

While U.S. President Donald Trump may be eager to reopen the border between his country and Canada, the Prime Minister is in no such hurry.

Canada’s agreement with the U.S. to keep the border closed to all but essential travel expires early next week, and Wednesday, Trump told reporters he wanted the border open “sooner rather than later.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has consistently said it will be several weeks before the border reopens, but reporters pressed him on the issue Thursday.

Trudeau repeatedly referred to the special relationship Canada shares with the U.S.

“There is a recognition that as we move forward, there will be special thought given to this relationship,” he said. “But at the same time, we know there is a significant amount of time before we can talk about loosening such restrictions.”

“We recognize that there is a need to protect our citizens as every country is doing,” said Trudeau.

Trudeau was also questioned whether he feared retaliation from his American counterpart if Canada refused to open the border on Trump’s timeline.

“The coordination and collaboration between Canada and the United States on this issue, and on all issues, has been entirely exemplary,” he reassured. “But there is still a recognition that we need to continue holding the measures that we have in place for a good while to come still.”

Trump has made no secret he wants to reopen the American economy as soon as possible.