WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Top lawmakers are continuing to push for new regulations along the U.S.- Canada Border.
On a personal call with Canadian Ambassador Kirsten Hillman, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer pushed for Canadian and United States officials to adopt new essential travel rules and develop a public strategy to safely reopen the Northern Border.
According to Schumer, these new essential travel rules would allow those who have been vaccinated and has familial, property, educational, commercial or medical interests in either country, to be considered essential, and cross the border.
Senator Schumer stated that he made this phone call to Ambassador Hillman after the Northern Border closure was extended on June 18, 2021.
Schumer detailed what was discussed in his call.
“Once I heard the border closure would be extended yet again for another long thirty days, I immediately called the Canadian Ambassador to see what we can do, on both sides, to finally reopen the border and truly get Upstate New York on the road to recovery,” said Senator Schumer. “I explained to Ambassador Hillman how mindboggling it is that many New Yorkers are free to travel to Europe now, but even those fully vaccinated can’t even drive a few miles north to Canada to their homes, businesses, stores, families, and properties!”
The Senator also requested the establishment of a binational agreement on reopening criteria, and that this agreement would be disclosed to the public.
Schumer claimed that this would “provide transparency, goals to meet and guide policy and would eliminate the need for monthly extensions that have seemed arbitrary.”
Senator Schumer also addressed recreational and commercial boater along the Northern Border. Stating that, “American and Canadian boaters are not able to cross the border by water, even if they have no intention of stopping at a port of entry. This practice unfairly penalizes boaters who present no risk of COVID transmission.”
The U.S.-Canadian Border first closed to non-essential travel on March 20, 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID between the two countries.