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Justin Trudeau begins to sketch out a plan to reopen the US border, but Canadians do not seem keen to rush him. And when the trip resumes, they overwhelmingly agree that proof of vaccination should be required.
Nearly half of respondents to an Angus Reid Institute poll released Wednesday said the world’s longest undefended border is expected to remain closed until at least September. More than three-quarters said they would support a vaccination passport.
Canada’s border with the United States has been closed to most non-essential traffic for more than a year to limit the spread of Covid-19. But with the acceleration of the Liberal government’s vaccination campaign, Trudeau is facing calls from business groups and main opposition conservatives for a concrete reopening plan.
As the Prime Minister considers whether to call an election in order to regain his parliamentary majority, the politics of the calendar are essential. “Former Conservative voters are much more likely to advocate an ‘open it sooner’ stance than former Liberal or NDP voters,” Shachi Kurl, chief executive of the Vancouver-based polling firm, said via email.
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“But however you vote, people want to travel again. If you are one of the millions of Canadians who work in the hospitality or tourism industry, you want to get back to work and see visitors coming back, ”she said.
Last week, the Trudeau government announced another one-month extension of border restrictions until June 21. Only 23 percent of Angus Reid poll respondents said they would like it to be reopened already. This suggests that Canadians are still concerned about the trajectory of COVID-19 and its variants as the country’s vaccination campaign gains momentum after a slow start due to delivery delays and confusion.
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The Prime Minister, at a press conference on Tuesday, said that over the Victoria Day long weekend, Canada passed 50%. And the three largest provinces – Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia – have announced plans to gradually reopen.
“There are many reasons to be hopeful, but that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down any further,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.
Earlier this month, he began laying the groundwork to ease public health restrictions, but warned there was a lot to be done before a “two-dose drop” during which Canadians could enjoy a more substantial return to normal after a grueling pandemic.
“Ultimately, the freedoms of a ‘one-dose summer’ may prove inadequate for a country weary of a pandemic, and this could also extend to delays in reopening borders,” Kurl said. “Next month will be revealing. “
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