Meeting Confirms 'Possibility' of Reopening Canada-U.S. Border by June
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says the Canada-U.S. border could reopen by the end of June.
Dilkens joined Ontario's mayors from border cities in Sarnia, Niagara Falls, Sault Ste. Marie and Fort Francis for a meeting with Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair Friday.
Blair's ministry controls Canadian policy for a border that has been closed to non-essential travel since March of 2020 due to COVID-19.
Dilkens had expressed hope a staged reopening would be possible by late June on AM800's The Morning Drive and says Blair didn't rule that timeline out at Friday's meeting.
"There are no firm details, so I wouldn't say that's officially the date, but it seemed that it was a possibility," he says. "It wasn't shot down outright, so that is a possible date based on the percentage of the population in Canada that would reach that vaccination target set by the prime minister."
He says a decision will hinge on getting 75 per cent of Canadians their first dose of the vaccine before the current closure order expires on June 21.
Blair agreed to meet with border mayors in two weeks to provide an update, according to Dilkens.
"I think it's fair to say that the minister and his team are working with his counterparts federally on the other side to try and figure out what a staged reopening looks like and how they can best support one another," says Dilkens. "They're also trying to find a way to officially acknowledge vaccination records that are received in any state or any province on both side of the border."
Dilkens says mayors from Ontario's border cities are united on the impact the border closure has had on local economies.
Reuniting loved ones and residents with properties owned on both sides of the border was also discussed, according to Dilkens.