Canadian and American elected officials want to return to regular border schedules | Coronavirus

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Canadian and American elected officials want to return to regular border hours | Coronavirus

Signs at the border between Canada and the United States in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premiers and U.S. Governors are calling for hours of operation at land border crossings between the two countries to return to what they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of elected officials have written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden arguing that reduced hours at some offices are hurting the economy.

The letter is signed by the Premiers of Alberta, Jason Kenney, Saskatchewan, Scott Moe, and Manitoba, Heather Stefanson, as well as the Governors of Montana, Greg Gianforte , and from North Dakota, Doug Burgum.

Elected officials say travelers and businesses have to scramble to find border crossings that are open longer, which comes with added fuel and labor costs.

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They say these reduced hours also penalize small communities near the borders, whose economy is highly dependent on international traffic.

The letter, however, contains no reference to the United States still requiring international travelers to be adequately vaccinated against COVID-19 – a requirement that Canada dropped last weekend.

“Residents and businesses on both sides of the border are concerned that the reduced hours could become permanent.

— Excerpt from letter signed by several prime ministers and governors

The group adds that the problems in the supply chain that have persisted since the start of the pandemic cannot be resolved as long as cross-border travel remains limited by restricted opening hours.

“Returning to pre-pandemic business hours will ensure efficient and smooth flow of people and goods, which can only improve commercial activity and reduce inflationary pressure on both sides of the border.

— Excerpt from letter signed by several Prime Ministers and Governors

A notice on the Canada Border Services Agency website states that the hours are restricted at nearly 40 land ports of entry, primarily in the Prairie provinces, as well as Quebec, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

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