The border between the U.S. and Canada has been closed since March 21 last year and there is growing pressure now to have the border opened.
Not only did border towns like Blaine turn into ghost towns and lose an incredible amount of business and tourism, but so too did other regions near the border. Think of all of the restaurants, shops, coffee shops, gas stations, all not seeing those tourists over the last year. The border has been closed for those who are going for non-essential travel and so virtually overnight they saw tourism plummet.
Those businesses never could’ve factored a pandemic like this into their business plan, they probably never thought it would be likely that they would see the border close for months or a year. There are families who haven’t been able to see their loved ones, fiances who have been separated all this time, friends who cannot meet, property owners who cannot check on their homes. There are many reasons to have the border opened once again.
If not an immediate reopening, the least that officials could do is talk about a reopening plan and work toward coming up with a timeline so people can look forward to that change.
Trudeau has recently urged people to have patience when it comes to that issue of the border reopening. And we shouldn’t expect things to change on that front anytime soon. But in the meantime people are left suffering who cannot be reunited, or they cannot go down to check their mail or property spaces etc, for almost one year now.
Officials have indicated that eventually we will see those international travel restrictions loosened but that day isn’t going to be today or likely anytime soon and so we need to exercise patience and wait for those changes to come about. What would be more encouraging is a vague timeline however, of how they plan to move forward with that goal of changing travel restrictions, even if it comes months away from now.
There are many businesses left suffering on both sides of the border right now because there are still millions today who cannot travel as they usually would. The pandemic and resulting border closure has hit areas like Point Roberts and Blaine the hardest, destroying business there for many.
One gas station owner in the region last year said he was seeing just 5 percent of his usual business. There is nothing that they can do though, as they’ve reminded us recently, but wait it out some more.