by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Canada is usually our leading trading partner, and ties between the two countries run deep. But they’ve been severed for the last 14 months by a closure of the U.S.–Canada border. The closure no longer makes medical sense.
The closure of the world’s longest international border has just been extended again. That is unlikely to change soon. Friends, relatives, and business associates have been separated. Americans who own vacation homes in Canada can’t maintain them.
The closure isn’t equal. Canadians are allowed to travel to the United States by air, but Americans aren’t allowed to cross the border for nonessential travel into Canada. A Canadian coming to the U.S. only needs to have had a negative coronavirus test no more than three days before travel, while Canada requires a hotel quarantine for those arriving by air. This is despite the U.S.’s comparable record on vaccinations and its better record on COVID-19 cases.
On the Canadian side, the closure has devastated border towns and destroyed tourism from the U.S., which sent more than 15 million arrivals in 2019.
An anti-American strain infects the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Canadians are boastful of their tolerance, but the reliable way so many will rush toward the worst possible interpretation of any American event reminds that when it comes to the United States, the dominant Canadian disposition is often closer to a form of unthinking bigotry,” writes Canadian journalist J. J. McCullough in the Washington Post. …
… When is President Biden going to jawbone his fellow liberal Justin Trudeau to open the border?
Greece, France, and Spain will all be open by early June. Last week, even the intensely bureaucratic European Union agreed to accept vaccinated visitors this summer. But there’s no sign that the U.S. is seriously pressuring Canada to reopen.