Elected officials applaud northern border reopening
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It’s news long awaited. The U.S. - Canada border is reopening to fully vaccinated Canadian travelers from Canada.
Tuesday night, the Biden administration told senior members of Congress the 19-month pandemic-prompted shutdown will come to a close early November.
State and federal officials applaud the news. It comes nearly two months after the Canadian government opened their side of the border to vaccinated Americans.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer cited the economic benefits of allowing Canadians back into the country.
“The high vaccination rates on each side of the border have opened the door of safe cross border travel and will now safely increase the rebirth of the economic energy of Upstate NY,” Schumer said. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross-border community have felt the pain and economic hardship of the land border closures. That pain is about to end. Very soon, the link between New York and our northern neighbors will finally be re-established, reuniting families, bolstering businesses, and ending a frustrating cycle of waiting for everyone involved.”
“This reopening will be welcome news to countless businesses, medical providers, families, and loved ones that depend on travel across the northern border,” said Gillibrand.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik had this to say: “After months of bipartisan advocacy, I am proud to announce the northern border will finally be reopened. For too long, residents of the North Country have been denied access to family, travel, and commerce. Now, families can be reunited and our small businesses will be restored. I have been fighting for the North Country since the beginning and will not stop until this result is delivered for our communities. This is a long overdue step, however it is an important first step to rebuild the confidence in our cross-border relationship and friendship with our Canadian partners. I am committed to strengthening the ties along our Northern Border for the long term.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul also welcomed the news.
“I applaud our federal partners for reopening our borders to Canada, something I have called for since the beginning of the closure. Canada is not only our trade partner, but more importantly, Canadians are our neighbors and our friends. From Western New York to the North Country, I look forward to welcoming our Canadian neighbors back to New York as we continue to rebuild and recover from this pandemic,” Hochul said.
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