Canadian Ambassador to U.S. says there is no justification to change border restrictions
TORONTO -- Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman said there is no justification to ease the Canada-U.S. land border restrictions any time soon.
Speaking to CTV’s Power Play on Friday, Hillman stressed that either country is not prepared to loosen border restrictions before 2021.
“The way we’re seeing the virus progress -- at this time there’s no justification for changing in any significant way the measures that are in place,” Hillman said Friday.
The Canada-U.S. border closure agreement was set to expire on Oct. 21, but the Canadian government announced an extension until at least Nov. 21.
"The facts on the ground with respect to the virus will dictate our choices and the facts right now argue for maintaining the measures as they are," she said.
When asked if the Canadian embassy is getting any pushback from the U.S. regarding restrictions, she said both Canada and the U.S. are satisfied because the measures are doing what they are intended to do -- limit the spread of COVID-19.
“I have conversations with the U.S. administrations probably every couple of weeks on the issue of the border, and the issue of the measures we have in place,” said Hillman.
“The measures were designed to limit non-essential travel, while still allowing the free flow of commercial travel and trade and essential travel and essential workers,” she said.
The current agreement on the U.S.-Canada border closure to non-essential travel was first imposed in March and has been renewed every month since.
Hillman said she recognizes the hardship the border closures put on families.
“We make adjustments from time to time to accommodate small border communities,” said Hillman.
Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited, although trade and commerce are exempt, as are certain family members and loved ones who can make a case on compassionate grounds to be allowed into Canada.