A Task Force On Border Reopening

We have a new “task force” to determine when and how the Canada/US Border may reopen. Given the ability of the Canadian government to act, we could be another year or two before the border reopens.

Here is a video overview of the task force:

The border between Canada and the United States has been closed to “nonessential, noncommercial” traffic since March in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The task force on border reopening was organized by the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

I’d never heard of the place before.

Here is their mandate:

Bound by common geopolitical interests and strong economic and cultural ties, Canada and the United States enjoy the world’s most successful bilateral relationship. The Wilson Center’s Canada Institute is the only public policy forum in the world dedicated to the full spectrum of Canada-U.S. issues. The Canada Institute is a global leader for policymakers, academics and business leaders to engage in non-partisan, informed dialogue about the current and future state of the relationship.

The task force will engage in non-partisan, informed dialogue about the reopening of the border. It is a small group which includes former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Anne McLellan, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and former Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington. They will provide recommendations to the US and Canadian governments.

Charest has already gone on record to highlight the major issues and questions for the task force:

  • Will travellers need to be vaccinated to cross the border?
  • Will travellers need to produce a health certificate?
  • Will travellers have to undergo COVID testing at the border?

If a vaccination is required, I highly doubt that we will be crossing into the states in November of 2021. I doubt that a majority of the Canadian population will have received a vaccination by the end of 2021.

To be honest, I’m not all that sure I want to be first in line to get the injections.

The earliest this panel will deliver their recommendations will be March of 2021. Given the capacity of our government to act on the recommendations, I don’t see anything moving too quickly before the fall.

I expect reopening will hinge on the arrival of widely-distributed vaccines.

I expect we will spend at least another winter in Canada.

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