When should the U.S.-Canada border reopen?


Have you thought about when it's an appropriate time to open the US border again?

In an exclusive poll, NEWSTALK1010 partnered with Dart & maru/Blue to get the pulse of Canadians when it comes to lifting border restrictions with the country's biggest trading partner.

John Wright leads the team of pollsters at Dart & maru/Blue.

"The majority, 83 per cent of Canadians, say 'Don't open the border, keep it shut'," Wright says of the results. "It's fairly uniform right across the country. The only place that you find it more likely to say that it should be opened up — about a quarter of the public — is Alberta."

In terms of what's fuelling those numbers, it's not the president, and it's not even outbreaks close to our country.

"The reality is this — the virus knows no borders," Wright explains. "Bringing people into this country without being able to screen them properly, without being able to track them properly, is inviting the potential for more spread of the disease."

There's two groups of people when it comes to what it would take for them to be comfortable with US citizens coming into Canada.

"You then move to the next stage, and that is what would it take to start opening the borders? What are the restrictions Canadians want to see? And it falls basically in two camps... About half the population say either when we get a vaccine or for a long time," Wright says. "So it means basically, not anytime soon."

Other parts of the population want to see a vaccine card to allow US citizens in, temperature checks, and overall more information on whether or not anyone coming into our country has symptoms.

"I think the big takeaway from this is not that we want the door shut, I mean we're just opening the doors in our own provinces and across the country," Wright explains. "What it gets down to though is the conditionality of how you go forward. And we've got four or five different options here in how Canadians see that we should do that."

Wright says five per cent of poll takers believe the border should be open now.

He believes the debate will turn to how people can prove they don't have the virus before coming into Canada.