It’s time … or at least soon will be. Canada can’t keep its borders closed to extended family members, friends and visitors for years.
We need to start allowing entry of those from other countries in September, not just essential workers and immediate family relatives … if they are willing to isolate themselves here after arrival for a period designated by the Public Health Officials.
There is no valid reason to keep out ANYONE now ready, willing, able to isolate on arrival as required.
Of course I understand, and share, many Canadians’ disagreement, dislike and even disgust with US President Donald Trump. And I want the Canadian government … and Canadian consumers/shoppers … to retaliate against his latest attack on our country with new totally unjustifiable aluminum tariffs.
However, that is no reason to punish or hold hostage innocent American or Canadian citizens/families/friends … many of whom share our revulsion of Trump.
What a lot of people don’t realize is Canada’s border has already been opened to more than truckers, essential workers and diplomats.
Indeed, even visitors are already allowed … IF they are immediate family: dependent children, spouses, common-law partners, parents, step-parents, guardians of Canadians or even permanent residents … AND agree to isolate for 14 days on arrival.
You can read the whole list here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/travel-restrictions-exemptions.html
And that has overall worked very well for those who have qualified and self-isolated on arrival.
Time to expand the allowable list.
Let’s keep it real: Covid-19 will continue to be an infectious risk around the world for years and there is NO country, NO population that in the foreseeable future will be CLEAR of Covid.
So we must learn to live with it … and widen the list of those who can come here to well more than just immediate family… if they isolate.
That would still exclude day trippers, weekend or even week-long tourists: allowing entry to ONLY those planning to stay here for two weeks or more.
Canada cannot, and should not, ban extended family members/relatives/events/friends/tourists from other countries for many months more or years.
Canada’s bubble is ready to start growing.
The psychological impact on people separated long-term from so many family members, partners, friends for months or years more would be unnecessarily stressful and harmful.
And the fiscal damage to Canada’s economy ( business services, retail sales, equipment supply and services, high tech development, hospitality industry, hotels, resorts, restaurants, travel, tourism etc. etc.) is already enormous.
Readers of this Blog know how I called on Canada in the past to keep the borders closed as we fought the pandemic: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/happy-canada-day-celebrate-a-great-country-and-keep-our-borders-closed-to-covid-mismanaging-nations/.
It worked. And now our Covid levels are down enough to start welcoming SOME others again.
There are millions of responsible people in many countries, even the US (they’re not all as stupid as some we see on TV), who have addressed Covid as responsibly as most Canadians, taking precautions, wearing masks, self-distancing … and are clear of Covid.
If they agree to follow our rules, isolate at their own expense on arrival as health officials prescribe, there is no good reason to keep them out for months, or years more.
Keeping Canada closed for many months more, barring even those willing to isolate on arrival, at this advanced stage of the pandemic fight, will just hurt many families/people/relationships and cost the country many BILLIONS of dollars in employment, growth, revenues.
Of course, there are those who just think we should keep almost everything closed everywhere and especially keep out Americans.
And yet, I suspect many of those same people probably also want Canada to provide more free housing for the homeless, more subsidized rental housing for the poor, more improved social, health and hospital services for everyone, including remote communities, more increased public spending on health/safety equipment/supplies, more CERB, Business, Student, Rental support programs … and, of course, more spending on clean air, water and all kinds of environmental projects.
Where do they think the money/revenues/taxes come from to fund all of that? .
We need to open up our economy and our country to the outside world … slowly, carefully … and that includes opening our borders again to those willing to follow our rules and show that they are Covid-free.
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