Toronto

Ford open to closing borders to visitors during pandemic, not to commerce

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he is open to closing Canada's borders to visitors amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, but stressed that commerce cannot be blocked.

Provincial officials say there are now 177 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday the province is "facing some rough waters ahead," adding that he is open to at least a partial closure of the Canadian border. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
  • UPDATE: Hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford made these comments, the federal government announced it would close the border to visitors to Canada who are not citizens or permanent residents. Immediate family members of Canadian citizens, diplomats, U.S. citizens and air crew members will be exempted from the entry ban. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he is open to closing Canada's borders to visitors amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, but stressed that commerce cannot be blocked.

"I'd be open to closing the border to visitors, but not to trade and commerce," Ford said during a Monday morning news conference.

"We have to keep the supply chain going."

Ford also said he has not been having conversations with other leaders about restricting inter-provincial movement.

"That hasn't come up right now," he said.

In a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government is closing the border to foreign nationals, though American citizens are exempt from the entry ban. 

"At the moment, the measure does not apply to U.S. citizens," Trudeau said. "We will have more work to do in the coming days to ensure we're doing everything we need to do to keep Canadians safe and to ensure the flow of goods and necessary equipment to Canadians."

On Monday morning, Ford threw his support behind the work of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Trudeau. 

"He's showing good leadership," he said of the prime minister. 

Provincial health officials said on Monday morning that there are 177 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, which is a jump of 32 cases from yesterday afternoon's official tally. All but nine of those are in the GTA. Five of them have been resolved. 

Asked about the possibility of shutting down non-essential businesses, Ford said that "everything's on the table" but that for now they are heeding the advice of the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams. 

Meanwhile, more businesses are voluntarily reducing their hours or outright closing, and stock markets in Toronto and New York plunged when they opened on Monday morning.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now