| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Canada’s Trudeau says he discussed border with Biden, but no deal

On Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had spoken with US President Joe Biden about easing pandemic-related border restrictions between the two countries, but that no progress had been made.

In light of COVID-19, which was initially imposed in March 2020 and has been repeated on a monthly basis since then, corporate executives in the United States and Canada have expressed growing concern about the ban on non-essential travel. Trade flows are unaffected by the border measures.

Tourism between the two nations has been stifled as a result of the border restrictions. Canadian corporations, particularly airlines and tourism-related industries, have lobbied the Liberal government to ease the limitations.

Canada last week took a cautious first step, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July.

Trudeau, speaking after a Group of Seven summit in Britain, said he had talked to Biden “about coordinating measures at our borders as both our countries move ahead with mass vaccination.” Canada is resisting calls for the border measures to be relaxed, citing the need for more people to be vaccinated.

In terms of immunization rates, the United States is ahead of Canada.

When asked about the Biden conversation, Trudeau said, “We will continue to work closely together on going forward in the proper way, but each of us will always put the interests and safety of our own citizens at the center.”

“Many countries, including Canada, continue to caution that now is not the time to travel,” Trudeau noted, while he stressed the importance of fast returning to routine.

  • Reuters