The Canadian and American flags are seen on top of the Peace Arch is at the Canada/USA border in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. A new online poll suggests COVID-19 has damaged the trust Canadians have in their American neighbours, while U.S. residents have more faith in their northern counterparts than they do in themselves. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Trudeau not ready to talk about extending U.S. travel ban, even as deadline approaches

Prime minister says conversations with U.S. president are ongoing

Canada’s prime minister called collaboration with his U.S. counterpart “exceptional” during a briefing Wednesday (May 13) but did not commit to extending border restrictions past next week.

The border between Canada and the U.S. has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21, having been extended once. The ban will expire May 21 unless it is extended.

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border restrictions extended another 30 days until May 21

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was peppered with questions about the border ban at the same time as many states begin reopening and President Donald Trump has hinted he would like to see restrictions lifted.

“Our relationship with Canada is very good – we’ll talk about that. It will be one of the early borders to be released,” Trump said during a press briefing last month. “Canada’s doing well, we’re doing well – so we’ll see.”

On the flip side, both B.C. and Ontario have said unequivocally said allow non-essential travel from the U.S. would be against Canada’s best interests.

Speaking Wednesday, Trudeau said he had talked to Trump multiple times in recent weeks.

“As we manage the spread of COVID-19, we want to make sure we’re not becoming vulnerable from travellers arriving [from] elsewhere,” he said.

“Different countries are facing different challenges.”

Trudeau neither disputed nor affirmed a Reuters’ reporter statement that both sides would agree to keep border restrictions in place until June 21.

However, the prime minister said that “right now, we’re making decisions for right now” and did not clarify how he would respond if Trump tried to reopen the border to non-essential travel before Canada was ready.

“We’ll take the necessary decisions at every step.”

READ MORE: Opening B.C.’s border to U.S. travel ‘is not in our best interest’: Dr. Henry

READ MORE: Increased border traffic likely as Canada, U.S. economies reopen: Freeland

READ MORE: Abbotsford couple proves love knows one border in COVID-19 era

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

PLACE NAMES: Sourdough Alley

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Cannings: Nuclear waste regulations put Canadians at risk

Richard Cannings is in his second term as MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

Howie Fishwick Memorial Scholarship

Crowe grad and Rosebowl Award winner Carollynn Ballarin is a Howie Fishwick Scholarship recipient

Groups lobby for environmental assessment of Teck coal mine

“Castle would extract even more coal than has been mined at the original Fording River mine”

Creston’s annual fall fair cancelled due to COVID-19

The event brings in many producers and tourists to the town

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Most Read