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|Canada’s Tourism Industry Calls On Government To Reopen Canada-u.s. Border by premkumer262: 8:39am On Jun 11|
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) announced today that it is calling on the federal government of Canada to come up with a plan for reopening the Canada-U.S. border, which has now been closed for nearly 15 months. The campaign stresses the urgency of getting Canadian decision-makers to commit to a date to open the border, before yet another summer tourism season is lost. Prime Minister Trudeau had extended the border ban between Canada and the United States until at least until June 21, 2021.
Trudeau said that over 75% of Canadians may need to be vaccinated before Canada-U.S. border can be opened.
“Medical experts are telling us that we are winning the battle with COVID. With vaccinations rising and case numbers going down, we must now pivot to more forward-thinking policies, and talk about safely reopening the border, ending the extreme financial crush that has flattened the tourism industry and devastated the tourism economy in Canada. As Canada and the U.S. return to normal, we must prepare to open the border quickly and safely, and restart our tourism economy,” stated Beth Potter, President and CEO of TIAC.
TIAC points out that, earlier this month, the Expert Advisory Panel to the federal government on COVID-19 Testing and Screening made a strong case for changing the country’s present travel policy, saying that it should be updated to reflect the progress made on controlling the pandemic. Suggestions included doing away with the mandatory hotel quarantine system and changing the cross-border travel policy.
“The land border closure was a blunt interment to help stop the pandemic, but the fact that people can fly to the U.S. to vacation without quarantining there, but a very limited number of essential workers can cross the border never made sense. At the same time, the government is talking about ending crucial financial relief programs that have kept tourism businesses afloat during this entire ordeal. It can’t be both ways; either continue to support tourism businesses through programs like CEWS and CERS, or start reopening the border so that businesses can get back to work,” said Potter.
“There is a lack of urgency on the Canadian side for planning for the inevitable reopening of the border, which has been out-of-step with U.S. officials and the Biden administration. President Biden formally asked for a border reopening plan immediately after taking office, and so far, Canada has been slow to make any public progress,” added Potter.
TIAC notes that “Public calls for the reopening have been steadily growing on both sides of the border in recent weeks: Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for the border to open now; Liberal MPs Wayne Easter and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith have added their voices, and several prominent editorialists have called for the Canadian government to start the planning process.”
According to the press release, “TIAC is asking the government to take urgent action on this issue, so that Canadian tourism operators and businesses have the ability to plan. They need time to retrain, rehire and market. Many rely on advance bookings and without a clear plan for reopening and a commitment to when it will happen, people are uncertain as to whether or not they can book activities in Canada – at any date in the future.”
“The decision to close the border was made in a time of crisis, and now that we are starting to come through on the other side, we must have a plan in place to reopen the border, to kickstart the Canadian tourism economy. The health and safety of Canadians continues to be of the utmost importance – which is why we need guidance from all levels of government on a plan,” said Potter.
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