With the announcement that the United States would be opening its land borders to vaccinated travelers, Canadian mayors are welcoming the loosening of restrictions, and the business that it would bring both sides of the border.
The United States announced yesterday that both their northern and southern borders would be open to fully vaccinated travelers come this November.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley applauded the action, but noted that Canadians still need to be cautious when traveling south of the border, according to CP24.
"I do believe the Canadian government made a mistake by opening our border without getting a reciprocal arrangement with the Americans. It's four months later, but it's happening, and it's a good thing," he said Wednesday morning.
"I just need to make sure that all the things will be in place to protect people when they go there and come back," he continued.
"I do not see a lot of people wanting to go over on day tripping for some time to come because of what's happening in places like Michigan and elsewhere, where there are no restrictions on masking and gathering and things like that."
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, speaking with Breakfast Television, said he was "rejoicing" in the opening of the border.
"Well I'm very very excited, it'll have been almost 20 months with a border closure which for many Canadians probably doesn't make a big difference," said Dilkens.
"But for those of us who live in a border city whose life is built up on both sides of the border, it has a significant impact and, you know, I can tell you the one thing in my job as mayor that has surprised me the most during the pandemic is the sheer volume of emails that I have received over the past 19 months from individuals who live in my community and frankly some from across Canada who've seen me on TV, pleading with me to advocate for the reopening the border because of the family impacts that a border closure causes," he continued.
Dilkens noted that while it's tough to pinpoint precisely how much the border closure impacted the economy, "I can tell you it's huge."
Caesars Casino in Windsor receives about one-third of its customers from the US, Dilkens noted, and a number of border city small businesses experienced losses as well.
Dilkens, when questioned about a potential backup at border crossings, noted that Ambassador Bridge which is a major port of entry into the country, and the Window-Detroit tunnel, which has been used by essential workers over the span of the border closure, would see backups.
"I think that there will be long backups for a number of days as people really want are excited and want to cross that border to get back to their families to get back to their life as they move forward to just get away for a weekend and have a vacation, even if it's a three day vacation just to get away and start having their life returned back to normal," said Dilkens.