Our View: Keep the border closed for now

Until both the U.S. and Canada have the pandemic under control, travel is unwise

The closed border is one of the strangest things about the present pandemic crisis.

The border between Canada and the U.S. has been more open than most for decades, famously the longest in the world without a military presence.

The close ties between nations mean that many families exist on both sides of the line, and there are even those whose daily commute took them across. Most of us are still old enough to remember the pre-9/11 casualness of crossing to grab a few gallons of gas and some ice cream – no passport or Nexus card required.

But right now, the border is shut to all but essential traffic, primarily trucks and trade and workers. No tourists, no family visits, no heading down to check out the deals at the outlet malls.

And that looks more necessary every day.

Our response to the coronavirus here in Canada has not been perfect. Quebec and Ontario, in particular, through a combination of bad luck and a few bad decisions early on, are dealing with the worst outbreaks and highest death tolls in the country.

Here in B.C., we were both good and lucky.

Notably, neither B.C. nor Ontario officials are very keen on the border re-opening fully after the May 20 expiration of the closure deal between Ottawa and Washington.

If Canada’s response has been uneven, it’s at least been a response. Various American states have done well, but the federal government has been largely absent from any role in coordinating efforts to save lives and prevent further spread.

The U.S. currently has the world’s highest number of infections, and a death toll that’s going up by between 1,000 and 2,000 cases a day. By the time the border agreement ends, it could be close to 100,000.

Until the U.S. gets the pandemic under control, we can’t risk giving up what gains we’ve made north of the 49th in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

– M.C.

EditorialsLangleyOpinion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley quilters save fundraising raffle after quilt show plans unravel

COVID-19 forced the cancellation of May’s quilt show which was more than a year in the planning

Langley kids bust out the paints and crayons to bring cheer to seniors

Campaign resulted in more than 600 letters and art created to let seniors know they are not alone

Peaceful walk highlights Black Lives Matter in Langley

The evening walks will take place through to Saturday

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read