There’s an excessive amount of uncertainty about the pandemic’s path within the coming months for the federal authorities to have interaction in discussions about reopening the Canada-U.S. border, stated Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
“This doesn’t feel like the right moment to have those conversations,” LeBlanc informed CBC News Network’s Power & Politics.
“We do recognize, as vaccination rates go up and, hopefully, as we see the public health measures that are in place now bring down those case counts, there will be a conversation that we can have both with the American administration and with provinces and territories about what is the right posture at the international borders.
“But for the second, there is not any lively dialogue [about] adjusting these measures.”
LeBlanc said his government needs more detailed advice from scientists about the impact of the vaccine rollout and how effective it will be in reducing transmission and infection rates.
“All of these conversations I do know are going down with scientists,” he said. “We do not feel, as a authorities, that we’ve got sufficient … strong scientific recommendation to put out a map with so many uncertainties.”
LeBlanc said that he understands Canadians are hoping to have a somewhat normal summer this year — to visit family in other provinces and enjoy a vacation — but interprovincial travel is an area of provincial responsibility.
“Everybody desires to work collectively to get there, however we do not fake to have a transparent line of sight on what that time is now,” he said.
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to all non-essential traffic now for more than a year. That closure was extended recently to April 21.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said that in his meeting with the other premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday evening, the PM told leaders it’s possible that surplus U.S. vaccines could find their way into Canada in time to reopen the border for the summer.
“He prompt that it’s a risk sure, and he does assume there’s a, I assume, a mutual curiosity there that may be revered. But are there any commitments at this level? No, there usually are not,” Higgs told Power & Politics on Wednesday.
“The actuality of getting a summer time the place it is nearly regular, with vaccines in, say, 70-80 per cent of the inhabitants, I feel it does give us hope and it might occur shortly. They are producing quite a lot of vaccines within the U.S.”