Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is being “very, very careful” about when and how Canada will start reopening its international borders.
Speaking at his daily press briefing in Ottawa on Monday (June 22nd), Trudeau recognized that there are tourism operators and airlines that “would like us to be able to bring in tourists and allow people to come to Canada.”
“But they must understand, if we move forward too quickly, and if we’re not absolutely certain of what we’re doing at every step, we run the risk of getting into a second wave of infection as we’re seeing in certain places in the world,” Trudeau said, speaking in French, noting that such an outcome would reclose the economy and put everyone back into lockdown.
“Nobody wants that,” Trudeau said, switching to English, recognizing that it’s a decision that may be difficult for some people.
No confirmed reopening date
Trudeau didn’t reveal an exact date on when Canada could potentially reopen to international travel.
His comments come almost one week after he announced that the Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21st, extending the order by 30 days.
“This is an important decision that will keep people in both countries safe,” Trudeau said last Tuesday (June 16th).
The deal to temporarily close the Canada-U.S. border dates back to March 20th when both countries moved to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Trade and commerce still allowed
Since then, the border has still allowed trade, commerce and essential workers and goods to cross.
However, earlier this month, the government revealed that it will now allow some family members separated by temporary COVID-19 travel restrictions to cross the border into Canada.
In the meantime, more than 120 Canadian travel industry leaders and partners have asked Trudeau to "reopen the doors of our country" by means of an open letter, sent on behalf of the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable.
But some of Canada's Premiers have been opposed to Canada's international borders reopening anytime soon.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford told media on May 8th that he has concerns, stating: "I do not want those borders open."
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