October 18, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Canada-US border rules: Why some passengers must cross, others are closed

Canada-US border rules: Why some passengers must cross, others are closed

Kim Javsky was disappointed to return to his home in Golden before BC

After retiring last year, she and her husband – both Americans – sold their home in Chandler, Ariz, and moved most of their belongings to their second home in Golden, southeastern British Columbia.

The first part of the year is planning to rent a place in the United States and spend the rest of the year in Golden. The Canada-US border was closed to unnecessary traffic in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing the couple from accessing their Canadian property.

“I have all my belongings, all my documents except my passport,” Javsky said. “It’s like not being able to go home.”

Despite the border closure, she is frustrated that Canadians can go to America for a leisure trip. That includes Snow Birds Currently coming to the Sunbelt states.

“The injustice of it really hurts me,” Javsky said. “Whatever the rules are, I think it should be the same.”

Americans Kim Javsky and her husband Paul were barred from entering Canada to visit their home in Golden, BC, Canada, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic following policies implemented by the federal government after the Canada-US border was closed to unnecessary traffic in March. (Presented by Kim Javsky)

Although Canada and the US agreed to close their shared border to unnecessary travel during the epidemic, they each formulated their own policies. This can lead to some confusion and frustration because the rules vary – depending on which boundary you cross.

Political scientist Dan Abelsson says the different rules between the two countries are not surprising.

“You are still dealing with two sovereign nations that have jurisdiction over their own borders, and they certainly have jurisdiction and responsibility to develop their own policies,” said Professor Abelson at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigone, NS.

Snowbirds are OK to go south

The Canada-US land border will be closed until December 21, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has suggested that the date could be extended to Tuesday.

“The [COVID-19] The situation in the United States is very serious, “he told CBC Radio Current.

Since the border closure began, the Canadian government has prevented Americans from entering unnecessary travel by all means of transportation.

Although the U.S. has banned Canadian travelers from crossing the land, it still allows them to enter the country. U.S. CBC News declined to comment This is why it made this decision, but in general, its air travel restrictions are less stringent than Canada.

Although Increasing COVID-19 infections In the US, Many Canadians The Canadians took advantage of the flying exception, including the Snow Birds heading south to escape the winter.

“There’s no way we’re going to hell here,” said Claudine Durand of Lachine, Que.

Snowbirds Claudine Durand and her husband, Yvonne Laramie of Lachine, Queue, travel to Florida for two months each winter. Despite the epidemic, Durand said they are still going this year. (Presented by Claudine Durand)

When Durand and her husband moved to Florida in late January, they planned to use the land boundary if it was still closed. Transportation is a new service offered by KMC. The Quebec Company Flies Snowbirds – and transports their vehicles across the Quebec-New York border.

“Basically, it solves our problem because we want to reduce our RV,” Durand said, adding that she plans to take all COVID-19 security precautions while in Florida.

Federal Government Advises Canadians not to go abroad But for unnecessary travel during the epidemic It said it did not deter people Since leaving.

Detention is required for 14 days upon return to Canada.

Family Exceptions

Canada and the US also have different rules for family member exemptions.

Following protests by families separated by border closures, the Government of Canada Relaxed its travel restrictions In June some Americans with immediate family in Canada were allowed to enter the country for whatever reason, both by land and air.

Government in October Made the exceptions more widespread To include additional family members, as well as couples who have been together for at least a year.

In contrast, Canadians are not exempt from entering the country by land to visit family They tend to be a sick relative.

Len Saunders, a U.S. immigration attorney, said the United States was not bothered to unleash sanctions as the epidemic dragged on, because separated family members could still travel to the country.

“There’s a huge alternative,” said Sanders, who is in Blaine, Wash. “There are no limits to flying.”

See | Some Canadians decide to spend the winter in the US between COVID-19:

The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping some Canadian Snow Birds from going to the US this winter, but they are not ready to take the risk for warmer weather all week. 2:07

One influential group that has found no way around federal government travel restrictions is Americans who own property in Canada. Some of them are arguing that they should be exempted from entering the country.

“I will pay [property] Taxes. I prefer to live by the rules, “said Javsky, pointing out that she had 14 days’ detention – her home in Golden, BC

Mark Brosch of Atlanta owns a cottage in Muscoca Lakes. He said he believes he should be allowed to enter Canada so he can inspect the property, which has been vacant for 10 months.

“I will go across the border to my cottage and quarantine for 14 days,” he said. “I put people at less risk in Muscovica than people traveling back and forth from Toronto every weekend.”

Mark and Sandra Brosch from Atlanta showed up at their cottage in Muscoca Lakes on a camel last summer. This year, the American couple will not be able to visit their property due to border closures. (Submitted by Mark Brosch)

When asked about property owners, Canada’s public health agency said in an email with CBC News that US visitors will be allowed to re-enter Canada when they feel safe.

“Traveling in Canada for tourism and recreational purposes is currently prohibited, regardless of the ability to detain a traveler for up to 14 days,” spokesman Tommy Jorby said.

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