As US sends more doses of Moderna to Canada, calls intensify to reopen border – .

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As US sends more doses of Moderna to Canada, calls intensify to reopen border – .


OTTAWA – The United States is preparing to send a million more doses of Moderna vaccine to Canada as calls multiply on both sides of the border to facilitate travel and quarantine measures.

Purchasing Minister Anita Anand tweeted about the latest vaccine delivery Thursday, thanking the Biden administration and Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman. The shipment is outside the government’s contract with the company itself and instead forms part of the global vaccine donation strategy previously announced by the president.

The doses will arrive on Canadian soil later in the evening and bring the total number of Moderna doses shipped domestically to 10.1 million.

On the same day, Canadian and American tourism groups and politicians participated in a panel discussion on the need to reopen the border to support struggling industries and businesses at risk of shutting down permanently due to the pandemic.

Restrictions on the Canada-U.S. Border that prohibit discretionary travel but exempt trade and commerce flows, as well as essential healthcare workers such as nurses who live and work across the border, have been in place since March. 2020 and will expire on June 21.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said this week that the government will have more to say on the issue before this deadline on the “phased” approach to reopening.

New York Representative Chris Jacobs, who sat on the panel, last week introduced the Northern Border Reopening Transparency Act that would require the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the United States Centers for Disease Control to do so. report to Congress. within 30 days on a plan to reopen the border.

On Thursday, he said he was “encouraged” to hear about the vaccine being sent to Canada and hopes it can help accelerate progress.

“We need laser focus on this. Every day that is delayed is a day when people are going to plan their trip to go somewhere else. If we open in mid-August, I don’t know how useful that will be because everyone will have already programmed things elsewhere, ”he said.

“We’re getting to the June 21 date and I really hope it’s not the same. “

Ontario Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, also a member of the panel, said there is often a “false conflict” between economic and health needs, when both can be prioritized. He also stressed the need for some form of vaccine documentation to allow free movement between the two countries.

“Proof of immunity won’t be easy in all circumstances, but when we see New York State with an Excelsior app that can easily integrate with the AriveCAN app, there are obvious opportunities to allow travel. more free immediately, ”he said. mentionned.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told CTV News Channel’s Power Play show last week that the AriveCAN app, which provides travel information upon entering Canada, could soon be used to verify the certification of travelers’ vaccines.

« [Canada Border Services Agency] is working to include a vaccine verification system within the ArriveCAN app, but even more broadly so that we can be more fully integrated with the Americans but also with our international partners. There is really important work in progress and it is actually being led by our immigration services in the development of other tools, ”he said on June 10.

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