canada border

Doug Ford wants to close down the Canadian border to all non-residents

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has long been a strong advocate for more stringent border protections at Toronto Pearson International Airport and nationwide to prevent further spread of COVID-19, and has now expressed his desire for the federal government to shut down borders completely to all travelers who aren't residents of Canada.

Ford expressed his sentiments on the topic during his press briefing on Monday, in which he reiterated how critically he thinks we need to ramp up virus testing and other measures at all entry points to the country.

"We need to put barriers up every which way we can. I also encourage the Prime Minister to close down any travel coming to Canada outside residents of Canada or citizens of Canada. There's no reason we need people coming in," Ford said, adding that from his home in Etobicoke he regularly sees planes landing "one after the other after the other."

"Every time I look up to the sky I'm wondering how many cases are coming in. This has to stop."

Shortly after he put the entire province under a blanket lockdown on Boxing Day, Ford attributed rising case counts and thus more severe lockdown measures to people travelling too much unnecessarily, noting that at the time, 64,000 people from international destinations went through Pearson the previous week alone "basically unchecked."

He also voiced concerns about the 25 per cent or so of passengers who aren't properly quarantining upon their arrival.

The province's top doctor, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, has agreed, and likewise implored Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration to introduce more prohibitive restrictions for those coming into the country, and deeming the droves of flights landing with positive COVID-19 cases on board "a big issue."

Despite the fact that the Canada-U.S. border was "closed" back in March 2020, residents soon discovered that they were able to fly down to the States hassle-free. Meanwhile, we've continued to let travelers from all sorts of international locales in, only adding the requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test on Jan. 7.

Countries such as Australia and New Zealand have managed to dramatically reduce infections — to zero in the latter country — with extreme lockdown measures that have included much more rigorous controls on who is permitted entry.

Essentially, only citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members (in the case of Australia), dependent children or diplomats holding a post in the country (in the case of New Zealand) are allowed in.

In Canada, that list is far larger and includes refugees, extended family members of residents, those whose arrival is accepted for family reunification or on compassionate grounds, international students, temporary workers, certain accredited officials, passengers whose presence is of "national interest," and more.

Mayor John Tory today also supported the call for stricter travel measures immediately, including "increased quarantine enforcement mechanisms" and additional testing at airports.

Lead photo by

Harvey K

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