Sunday, June 7, 2020

Shuttered Canada-US border highlights different approaches to the pandemic – and differences between the 2 countries


Niagara Falls tourism businesses are suffering since border travel between Canada and the U.S. was limited only to essential personnel. Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Daniel Baldwin Hess and Alex Bitterman for The Conversation write about different responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and Canada.  They note that "the the recent closure of the U.S.-Canada border because of the coronavirus underscores a growing divide between the two countries":

"In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. closed its border to Canada for the first time since the War of 1812.

Halting leisure traffic and barring entry to noncitizens, the closure impedes consumers who want to cross the border to shop and take advantage of favorable exchange rates, lower prices or greater product selection. The closure also effectively suspends tourism and blocks the daily commute for cross-border workers and property owners, until at least June 21.

The Trump administration announced it planned to deploy military troops to the U.S.-Canada border, too, also a move not seen since 1812. Ultimately, at the urging of the Canadian government, the U.S. relented and did not install troops at the border.

Now, it is Canada that wants to extend the closure until midsummer with increased screening at the border.

These thorny actions mark a shift in the normally friendly relationship between the countries.'


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