us extends border closure

U.S. extends border closure with Canada again and people are offended

Is it too late to close the Canadian border to the Americans again? Because ouch.

Fully-vaccinated U.S. residents have now been welcome to enter Canada for nearly two weeks thanks to the federal government's lifting of border restrictions for Americans (and Americans alone) on Aug. 9.

And yet, despite this neighbourly display of trust and hospitality, the U.S. has once again decided to extend its own restrictions on non-essential land and ferry travel from Canada.

In other words, they can visit our house, but we can't go into theirs — even though our northern estate is technically a whole lot cleaner than many parts of their metaphorical McMansion.

"To minimize the spread of COVID19, including the Delta variant, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through Sept. 21, while continuing to ensure the flow of essential trade and travel," announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Twitter

"In coordination with public health and medical experts, DHS continues working closely with its partners across the United States and internationally to determine how to safely and sustainably resume normal travel."

This equates to another entire month of people living in border cities being unable to visit their favourite haunts — and in some places, important services — just minutes down the road.

The restrictions, which have been in place since March 2020, were originally set to expire this Saturday, Aug. 21.

Many Canadians had assumed that they'd be given the green light to drive over the border this weekend, now that (most) vaccinated people from the U.S. can legally enter our Home and Native Land.

The American government's nixing of that possibility has come as a slap in the face to many people in Canada, particularly those who lived much of their pre-pandemic lives travelling between the two neighbouring countries.

"The U.S. has extended the Canada and Mexico land border closure for another month. I'm sick and almost too stunned to cry," wrote one Twitter user.

"It has been closed for 18 months. Vaccinated Americans have been able to enter Canada since Aug 9. How will we ever reunite with our loved ones?"

"I still think it's ridiculous that Canada opened the border to the U.S., but they are extending their border closure until Sept. 21," wrote another. "The border reopening should have been reciprocal."

While Canadians can technically fly into the U.S., the extension of border and ferry restrictions disproportionaly impacts people who a) can't afford to fly and b) live within close driving distance of American cities.

Many people are expressing annoyance and disappointment over this morning's announcement, but some are just straight up pissed.

"God they're petty. 'No, Canada didn't close the border on us, we closed the border on them!'" wrote one Canadian in response to the announcement.

"Whatever assholes, it's better up here without you."

"Canada should close the border. Give 24 hours for every American to leave the country and expel all diplomats and staff," tweeted another. "See how Biden likes that. Idiot."

And it's not only people in Canada who are pissed, but government leaders in U.S. border states such as Michigan and New York.

"The U.S.–Canadian relationship is integral for our economies and life-quality. The failure to make opening the border the priority that it should be is a huge mistake," said New York Congressman Brian Higgins in a statement following the announcement Friday morning.

"There has not been enough attention placed on the value and opportunity that comes with restoring connections between our two nations. It is beyond disappointing; it is hurtful both at a human and economic level."

"The announcement today that the United States will continue to keep the Canadian border closed is outrageous," wrote New York State Assembly member Billy Jones similarly.

"Canada opened the border for Americans earlier this month which allowed some people in the North Country to reunite with their families and it is absurd that the United States has yet to reciprocate or even have a plan in place."

Lead photo by

N Bandaru

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