CANADA border crossing

Who: Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) to President Joe Biden. 

What: The three Senators sent a letter to the Biden administration, late Monday, encouraging work with Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to allow travel between the US and Canada. 

The trio say they are encouraged by the recent increase in vaccines administered in Canada and, "Enabling more people to reconnect, work, and resume daily routines when it is safe to do so will go a long way to addressing these dual crises.

When: In the letter, Sanders, Leahy and Welch didn't give an exact timeline for when they feel the border should be reopened but suggest that a decision should be guided by the science and recommendations of both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

Where: The US-Canadian Border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21, 2020. However, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau did acknowledge Tuesday that there could be an easing of COVID-19 restrictions in "In the coming days and months." 

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State also downgraded Canada on its travel advisory list, moving it from Level 4 ("Do Not Travel") to Level 3 ("Reconsider Travel"). 

The next extension deadline is coming up June 21.

Why: In the letter Leahy, Sanders and Welch go on, "Families throughout Vermont, especially those in our border communities, have gone well over a year without seeing loved ones across the border. They have missed celebrations, goodbyes, births, and other milestones that they will not be able to get back."

They note that small businesses in both Canada and the United States have struggled to stay afloat as regular cross-border travel has all but disappeared.

"Vermont businesses throughout the state that have long relied on tourism and activity from our Canadian neighbors have been particularly harmed." says the delegation.

The full text of the letter can be found here









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