New York Democrat, 2 Trudeau Liberals push to reopen U.S.-Canada border

Your efforts increase pressure on governments from legislators on both sides of the border. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, for example, recently urged US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to coordinate with his Canadian counterparts as soon as possible.

What’s new: Wednesday’s release calls on leaders in Ottawa and Washington to rely on the recommendations of science and public health as they figure out what’s next at the land border, which has been going on since the earliest days of the Covid-19 Pandemic is closed to all but essential workers.

“For more than a year, Americans and Canadians have endured separation from their families, friends and property in response to the public health crisis,” write the three officials. “It is time our governments listened to the experts.”

What’s next: Heads of state and government have given few official details on what’s next at the border, even as vaccination numbers rise and Covid cases decline.

Talks between the US and Canada are ongoing on the roadmap. The current agreement expires on June 21st, but high-ranking representatives of the provinces and states insisted to POLITICO that they have little information on the way forward.

The indoor shot: A senior Canadian government official told POLITICO on Tuesday that reopening the border was “something we are deliberately not talking about because it is not yet the time to do it”. Instead, the official said the government wanted people to focus on vaccinations and weather the third wave of the pandemic.

More than 50 percent of the Canadian population have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine; 6 percent are fully vaccinated. In the US, the CDC reports that 62 percent of Americans have received at least one injection.

A poll published last week by the Angus Reid Institute found that 48 percent of Canadians were in favor of keeping the border closed until September. The Canadian official said it was wrong to assume that there was “incredible pressure” on the government, and even if it did, Ottawa would put health above all else.

Measures and metrics: Trudeau said at least 75 percent of Canada’s population should receive their first doses of Covid vaccine and 20 percent should be fully vaccinated before the country begins easing public health restrictions, including those on the border.

What’s in the way: Some provinces have put pressure on the government to keep the border closed.

There are new variants of Covid-19 in the mix fears in some regions that the third wave of the pandemic could be followed by another.

Exceptions to the rule: The Canadian press has reported on efforts to exempt NHL players from boundary restrictions, although it is unclear whether anyone will argue that the Stanley Cup playoffs will make them “essential workers”.

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