The Canadian and American flags are seen on top of the Peace Arch is at the Canada/USA border in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. A new online poll suggests COVID-19 has damaged the trust Canadians have in their American neighbours, while U.S. residents have more faith in their northern counterparts than they do in themselves. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Trudeau not ready to talk about extending U.S. travel ban, even as deadline approaches

Prime minister says conversations with U.S. president are ongoing

Canada’s prime minister called collaboration with his U.S. counterpart “exceptional” during a briefing Wednesday (May 13) but did not commit to extending border restrictions past next week.

The border between Canada and the U.S. has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21, having been extended once. The ban will expire May 21 unless it is extended.

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border restrictions extended another 30 days until May 21

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was peppered with questions about the border ban at the same time as many states begin reopening and President Donald Trump has hinted he would like to see restrictions lifted.

“Our relationship with Canada is very good – we’ll talk about that. It will be one of the early borders to be released,” Trump said during a press briefing last month. “Canada’s doing well, we’re doing well – so we’ll see.”

On the flip side, both B.C. and Ontario have said unequivocally said allow non-essential travel from the U.S. would be against Canada’s best interests.

Speaking Wednesday, Trudeau said he had talked to Trump multiple times in recent weeks.

“As we manage the spread of COVID-19, we want to make sure we’re not becoming vulnerable from travellers arriving [from] elsewhere,” he said.

“Different countries are facing different challenges.”

Trudeau neither disputed nor affirmed a Reuters’ reporter statement that both sides would agree to keep border restrictions in place until June 21.

However, the prime minister said that “right now, we’re making decisions for right now” and did not clarify how he would respond if Trump tried to reopen the border to non-essential travel before Canada was ready.

“We’ll take the necessary decisions at every step.”

READ MORE: Opening B.C.’s border to U.S. travel ‘is not in our best interest’: Dr. Henry

READ MORE: Increased border traffic likely as Canada, U.S. economies reopen: Freeland

READ MORE: Abbotsford couple proves love knows one border in COVID-19 era

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Rain in Sunday forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada calling for 15-20 millimetres in regions

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

‘No tick is a good tick’: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

The foundation’s president said all ticks that attach to humans and pets can carry various diseases

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Most Read