CBC News confirmed on Tuesday that the closure of the Canada-US border for non-essential travel will be extended by 30 days until the end of August. The agreement, which must be reviewed monthly, was due to expire on July 21. The move comes as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are increasing in several large U.S. states with little evidence of a coordinated response from the administration of President Donald Trump.
In contrast, Canada has largely succeeded in limiting the spread of the virus in recent weeks, with the number of daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths falling for the most part. This is why Steeves would like the federal government to go even further and keep the border closed until the New Year.
She and her husband Gerald cross the border to transport goods to California every week. She said that from what she had seen south of the border, no appropriate action was taken against the pandemic and she was concerned about what could happen in Canada if the Americans were allowed to visit.
“I pray that they will not open the borders”
“It’s scary,” she said.
“I pray that they will not open the borders. It would only make everything worse here … They must protect our country. ”
And she is not alone in her fears.
Jeff Henderson, a long haul truck driver from Shannonville, Ontario, recently posted a video on social media describing his own experiences in the United States. The video has been viewed by thousands of people on Facebook.
He talked about seeing people turned down at an emergency care center in Texas because they couldn’t afford a COVID-19 test. And he echoed what Steeves said about the number of people who don’t wear masks or physical distancing.
“Nobody cares, and it’s dangerous – very dangerous,” he said.
“If Canada opens these borders … you’re going to see a peak like you’ve never seen before.” ”
In recent months, Henderson has traveled to New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, and most recently in late June, Texas, a state experiencing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.
“I just couldn’t believe, everyone is standing outside. Everyone gathers as if nothing is happening. ”
He would also like to see the border closed until the New Year.
US cases on the rise
In addition to Texas, California and Florida are experiencing large increases in new cases of coronavirus. The United States is the most affected country in terms of infections and is the world leader in deaths from COVID-19, with more than 136,000 to date.
Canadian government officials say they expect the border to remain largely closed for the foreseeable future, despite calls by members of Congress to consider a gradual plan to reopen.
COVID-19 cases are reaching daily highs in many US states – making any return to travel before the pandemic a significant threat to the health of Canada.
“We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States regarding COVID-19,” Trudeau said at a press conference on Monday. “Each month we have been able to extend the border closure to all goods and services, except essentials, and these discussions continue. ”
Premier Ontario Doug Ford has said he also does not want the border to be reopened anytime soon.
Canadian Trucking Alliance President Stephen Laskowski said in a statement to CBC News that the pandemic has created new challenges and concerns for all workers, including those in the trucking industry.
“The CTA Best Practices document addresses all of these issues and concerns and truck drivers across the country use these methods to keep themselves and their fellow citizens safe.”
Henderson Denies Jobs in the United States
Steeves said that despite her own safety concerns, she and her husband had to continue working.
“We have payment by truck. We have our own truck. We have invoices, you know, and that’s our life. So we really can’t stop it, ”she said.
“People still need stuff. The freight has yet to move. You know, you still need the groceries, you still need the toilet paper. ”
But Henderson has said he won’t take jobs in the United States until things get better, and he knows that means his earnings will suffer.
“It will take a hit but I will not get back into this position,” he said.
” I can not. It’s too stressful. “