OTTAWA – The Canadian authorities doesn’t really feel strain from the USA to carry border restrictions regardless of feedback by President Donald Trump that he expects the border to reopen quickly, says Public Security Minister Invoice Blair.In an interview with the Star, Blair stated he’s conscious of Trump’s remarks after the 2 international locations agreed to increase restrictions on cross-border visitors for an additional month, to Oct. 21, however recommended there isn’t a urge for food in Canada to reopen the border quickly.Requested how a lot strain the Trump administration is exerting on Canadian officers to calm down controls and resume the stream of non-essential visitors, Blair stated, “None, none.”“Other than that one comment he made, and I saw it too, that was the first I’ve heard from the federal government of the United States any suggestion they wanted to change the existing practice at the border,” Blair stated.Blair stated he’s heard complaints by state governors and different officers that the closure is difficult on border communities, however the minister chargeable for the border company stated there’s a consensus among the many provinces that the border ought to stay locked right down to all however important visitors, and Ottawa agrees for now.Premier Doug Ford is lobbying Ottawa for the restrictions to proceed, fearing an inflow of COVID-19 simply as instances in Canada are starting to spike once more.Blair famous that in Atlantic Canada, the place guidelines require all travellers — together with Canadians — to quarantine for 14 days, there are nearly no lively instances. (Newfoundland and Labrador’s ban is even more durable, barring all non-essential journey.) Well being Canada is reporting a complete of 9 lively instances within the 4 provinces.Blair stated solely three per cent of COVID-19 transmission in Canada is said to journey, and never all these instances are from worldwide journey. Well being Canada studies that in Canadian instances of COVID-19, one per cent got here from contact with a traveller, and in 3.9 per cent of instances, the affected person had travelled exterior of Canada.He doesn’t suppose the low share of infections associated to international journey means it’s OK to reopen the border, however reasonably that “it argues for the effectiveness of the measures we’ve taken.”Requested if it then is smart to maintain the restrictions in place for a very long time, Blair replied, “Forever? No — but while the threat remains from this pandemic and while there is, I think, very legitimate concerns about increasing number of cases.”On Sept. 18, Trump informed reporters on the White Home that, “we’re looking at the border with Canada. Canada would like it open, and, you know, we want to get back to normal business.”However Blair denied that Canada is in search of to reopen the border, noting that the restrictions are nonetheless permitting important items and staff to cross, he stated.There haven’t been shortages on grocery cabinets or any vital influence on prescription drugs or different items that Canadians want, he stated, and important cross-border truck visitors is sort of again to 2019 ranges after a 30 per cent discount final spring, largely as a result of the auto manufacturing sector has resumed operations.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled Friday that important commerce contains U.S. imports from Canada of low-cost prescribed drugs. He stated any strikes by the USA to extend these imports “will be taken into account as we develop our capacity to first and foremost help Canadians and cover Canadians’ needs here at home, but also be there to help other countries in need as well as we always will.”In mid-March, greater than two months after the coronavirus started to unfold exterior China’s borders and all over the world, Canada and the USA struck a deal to restrict all however non-essential visitors in items and staff crossing the border. Every month they’ve agreed to increase it for 30 days. It’s now as a result of expire Oct. 21, and whereas Blair wouldn’t say how lengthy which may proceed, he stated Canadian premiers “overwhelmingly” help sustaining present limits and “remain concerned” by the danger posed if folks are available “from other jurisdictions.”The image south of the border stays grim.America has led the world in COVID-19 infections and deaths, with instances Friday topping the 7 million mark, and greater than 203,000 COVID-19 deaths, in keeping with up to date figures printed Friday by Johns Hopkins College. That very same tracker reported Canada has had 152,004 confirmed instances and 9,304 deaths – a barely larger tally than Well being Canada’s report, which tallies day-old information.Blair acknowledged there have been vital financial and social impacts of the border shutdown, not simply on border cities however on people who’re separated from these they love, and “they are tough cases.”Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…He stated he’s working with B.C. officers to cope with issues in Level Roberts, Washington, a peninsula city of 1,000 whose American residents have been lower off from the remainder of their nation as a result of they have to go by way of Canadian territory to get there. Blair stated the “challenge” is youngsters wish to go to highschool on the Canadian aspect, however “there’s a real concern” that in going forwards and backwards, their dad and mom will buy groceries in Vancouver. “We’re not indifferent to the difficulty that community is facing but our priority has to be the safety of Canadians,” he stated.Public polling analysis has proven a majority of Canadians don’t wish to see the border reopened quickly. JOIN THE CONVERSATION Q:When do you suppose Canada will be capable to reopen the border with the U.S.? Anybody can learn Conversations, however to contribute, you ought to be registered Torstar account holder. If you don’t but have a Torstar account, you’ll be able to create one now (it’s free)Signal InRegisterConversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star doesn’t endorse these opinions.