(File photo)

(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

Pipestone Flyer file photo
Nominations now open for 2021 general municipal election

Nominations for Wetaskiwin’s general municipal election are now open until Sept. 20, 2021.

Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
 Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
 Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
 Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
Millet Couple share their COVID project, Little Free Library, with the community

They took inspiration from others doing similar book shares around Millet and Wetaskiwin.

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

A 37-year-old man from Maskwacis has died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Red Fraggle, one of Jim Henson Company’s Fraggle Rock characers, is shown at Time To Play Holiday Show, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in New York. The Jim Henson Company says production has officially started in Calgary on a reboot of the original 1980s children’s puppet series, which was filmed in Toronto.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Lennihan
‘Fraggle Rock’ children’s puppet series reboot starts production in Calgary

A spokesperson says the new series will stream on Apple TV plus

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read