Border restrictions hurting Northwestern Ontario, says MP Melillo
WASHINGTON, DC ~~~~~~ June 22, 2021 (LSN) The Department of Homeland Security announced on Twitter Sunday that U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed to nonessential travel "to reduce the spread" of COVID-19.
"The United States is extending restrictions on nonessential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through July 21, while ensuring access for essential trade & travel," the agency tweeted.
Canadian and Mexican counterparts, originally closed the United States' northern and southern borders to leisure travelers in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis ever since.
Kenora riding, Ontario – The Liberal government’s continued border restrictions are letting down Northern Ontario, says Kenora riding MP Eric Melillo.
Starting on July 5th, fully-vaccinated Canadians will not be required to quarantine upon entering Canada, provided they receive two negative tests. The loosened restrictions apply only to citizens and permanent residents.
Melillo was disappointed that the Liberals’ latest border announcement has no allowances for American tourists, who he says pose a relatively low risk.
“The U.S. has had a very successful vaccine rollout, and our vaccine distribution is also ramping up,” Melillo stated. “Business owners in the Kenora riding have been asking for months when their American clients – most of whom are fully-vaccinated – can come back. This latest announcement doesn’t help these struggling businesses at all.”
This underscores why Canada needs a data-driven re-opening strategy.
“We need a real plan to re-open the border,” Melillo said. “My constituents in Northwestern Ontario need to know when the U.S. border will re-open and what metrics we need to hit to get there. This month-by-month approach, with no rhyme or reason as to who can cross and when, is adding to the uncertainty for businesses.”
Many businesses in Northwestern Ontario, particularly tourism operators, have not been able to operate since the Canada/U.S. border closed last year. Melillo says that some may not survive another season of restrictions.
“If we want these businesses to survive, the U.S. border needs to open as soon as possible,” he concluded.
Kenora, Rainy River, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay Marathon, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Ontario