The border has been closed to all travelers, except essential travelers, for a year and although vaccination programs are increasing in both countries, neither has defined the conditions for a possible reopening or any timetable. Easter co-chairs a Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary group and on Wednesday released a joint statement with his US counterpart, Congressman Brian Higgins, saying the Canadian and US governments must make a border plan a priority.
“So many things are important at this border,” Easter said in an interview with CBC News: Compass Thursday.
“There are Americans who have land in Canada, even Prince Edward Island here. There are family ties across the border. And we have a trade deal in which we try to create an economy in North America that competes with the rest of the world, so the border has to work well. ”
Easter said security must be the number one priority, but that planning must begin immediately to revitalize the economies of both countries.
“We need a step-by-step process of A, Bs and Cs, what needs to be in place to allow this border to open, the dates we are trying to target to get there,” he said. declared.
“So we can give our businesses and others the assurance that there will be standardization coming, but with all the safety factors included. ”
‘Adapt as you go’
Easter said his US counterparts say they are going full speed on vaccinations and getting back to normal, but he feels Canadians may have some reluctance to open the border, calling it ” fear factor ”.
“There is almost a fear that opening a border, even within Canada, will have serious health consequences,” he said. “We have to get the facts, we have to make sure that’s not the problem. ”
A plan would visibly and publicly state what the government’s goals are for both businesses and families, he said.
“If the variations take off less well than they currently are, you have to adapt as you go,” said Easter.